May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and New Yorkers are fortunate to live in a place that is home to so many thriving AAPI communities. So we’re taking a minute to spotlight some of our favorite Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses. These local entrepreneurs make being a parent in the city easier, more fun and more delicious (among many other things.) And of course, many owners are parents themselves. Want to support other NYC parents who run small businesses? We love these women-owned businesses in NYC, and these NYC Black-owned businesses and these parents are kind of our heroes.
Nguyen Coffee Supply
At Nguyen Coffee Supply, it’s all about the experience of brewing a cup of coffee. This, the first specialty Vietnamese coffee company in the U.S., opened its doors in Fall 2018 and prides itself on importing and roasting single-origin Vietnamese coffee beans. Apparently, compared to Arabica beans, its Vietnamese Robusta has twice as much caffeine (without the jitters), 60 percent less sugar and up to 80 percent more anti-oxidants. Co-owner Sahra Nguyen encourages people to support the small businesses in the city. “Especially immigrant-owned mom-and-pop shops that may not be so social media savvy. We need diversity in businesses, experiences and culture so that our city remains the dynamic place we love.”
Lo & Sons
For the past decade, the Lo family (Jan, Derek and their mom Helen) has been designing stylish travel bags from their Dumbo studio. (During the pandemic, they pivoted to helping healthcare workers by donating almost 4,000 bags to those on the frontlines.) The company's timeless, thoughtfully designed bags are created with eco-friendly materials and plenty of organizational features and pockets to keep your trip as streamlined and seamless as possible.
Love cute, fashionable and distinct kids' clothes but not so into the cost (or trying to find them in the right size?) Check out Dopple, the creation of co-founder and CEO Chao Wang. This subscription service for stylish and affordable clothing for children, which offers pieces from brands such as Stella McCartney, Chloé, Bonpoint and Dôen, makes it easy to up your kid's look without going broke. You can also order a single "Dopple Drop", a cute starter outfit set for newborns (in various styles) as a gift for new parents. The latest rollout from the company is ReDopple, a peer-to-peer marketplace where users can buy or sell any of the 380 plus brands in Dopple’s inventory.
Yu & Me Books
Lucy Yu is not even 30 yet, but she's opened NYC's first female-owned Asian American bookstore in Chinatown. The shop, which is also a cafe and bar debuted in late 2021. It highlights works by Asian authors and books that feature the stories of immigrants. Closed Mondays.
Korean K9 Rescue
At Korean K9 Rescue in Astoria, the mission is all about building awareness and compassion for dogs, especially those that are rescued from dog meat farms, high-kill shelters and puppy mills both here and abroad. Gina Bohler, executive director and founder started the organization in 2017. These days, New Yorkers in all five boroughs—and around the Tristate area—are happy adopters.
“We are so thankful to the NYC community for embracing our rescue organization and giving these homeless and mistreated dogs a second chance here,” she says. “We also have a Patreon page where you can get a sneak peek inside our facility in Bundang, South Korea, while supporting our rescue efforts monthly for just a few dollars.”
When Lin Chen, a second-generation Asian American, launched Pink Moon, an online beauty site in mid-2020, her focus was on curating exclusively female-founded, sustainable self-care, well-being and lifestyle brands. “Practicing self-care/love has positively changed my life and this is why I want to offer other women the opportunity to experience this, too,” she says. These days Chen runs her business from her office in Midtown East, with hopes of opening a flagship well-care and community site for women through every phase of life some day.
Rooted may have started out of Ryan Lee and Kay Kim’s apartment in Williamsburg in 2018, but it’s soaring now with a greenhouse in Florida, a Brooklyn team and a commitment to doing everything through a lens of sustainability. "We’re adamant about doing things as green as possible, even if it’s much harder, for the sake of our environment,” Kim says. The online nursery offers plant subscriptions, as well as one-off orders.
Jimmy Ly, co-owner of Madame Vo, a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village that opened in 2017, began dreaming up his vision when he met ‘Madame’ Yen Vo and the two connected over their mutual love of Vietnamese food. A Queens native, Ly had grown up as his family’s designated sous chef for family gatherings, and later worked in his parent’s banh mi shop. Vo grew spent her youth eating traditional Vietnamese food in her native Houston. When Ly introduced Yen to his family’s cooking, the inspiration for Madame Vo was born—and, since then, the couple became the proud parents of two boys.
“Vietnamese food is more than just the national cuisine of Vietnam—it is a way of life and an integral part of the culture,” Ly says. “At Madame Vo, we strive to honor the tradition of Vietnamese food by providing New Yorkers with the familiar and nostalgic flavors of southern Vietnamese cooking. Whether you're ordering a savory Com Suon Nuong or a delicious bowl of The Madame Pho, you can rest assured that your meal has been made with the utmost care and best ingredients, following recipes that have been passed down through generations of the Ly and Vo families."
212 E. 10th St.
In 2019, Ryan Kim opened Kim’C Market, an e-commerce business based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the express goal of helping people stay healthy by providing healthy Korean foods and ingredients. “I was inspired to start Kim’C Market after my uncle passed away from cancer in 2018,” Kim says. “Having grown up without a father, I felt the need to be able to guide my late uncle’s children and ensure that the whole family would be able to have access to clean, healthy foods.”
“Whether you’ve been cooking with Korean ingredients your whole life or would like to dip your toes into the world of Korean cooking, our mission is to connect people with tasty, wholesome Korean and Asian ingredients and ship or deliver them fast to you. Food has an innate transformative power, from the nutrients inside it to the people who make it and the cultures which influence it, and it is our goal to make these clean ingredients accessible to all kitchens. To see how our products can be used not only in Korean cooking but your own cuisines, check out our cooking videos on YouTube.com.”
This family-owned and operated kids’ clothing line is known for its modern and thoughtfully crafted designs. Inspired by their own kids, the owners have over 18 years of experience in the fashion industry; they’re passionate about creating lasting, neutral unisex pieces that can be handed down again and again.
Founder Alex Zagami Ng comes from a long line of business owners. When she opened her shop in Little Italy, it quickly became a favorite for NYC locals and visitors alike. Ng curated a wonderful selection of toys, clothing and books, and also designed her own line. Find Piccoliny gear online (including a special collab with legendary dim sum spot Nom Wah Tea House, pictured above) or if you live in NYC, from these select retailers as well as Saks Fith Avenue in midtown Manhattan.
Little Moony is a designer daughter and master tailor mother team. The idea to launch a children’s clothing line was born out of an afternoon watching their niece/granddaughter play in a cute but comfortable dress (which mom had made!). From there, Little Moony has become known for comfortable, well-designed clothes that range from bright and colorful to calm and cool. There’s a brick-and-mortar store in the SOHO neighborhood of NYC, but you can purchase everything from onesies to dress and jogger pants from the website too.
230 Mulberry St.
Hudson and Bleeker
Founder and CEO Eram Siddiqui launched Hudson and Bleecker when she couldn’t find stylish travel accessories. What started as a single shoe bag has expanded into a line of multi-functional, well-crafted travel accessories. Take a peek at the website, and you’ll find garment bags, cosmetic bags, packing cubes and more.
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