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New fusion food truck bringing Korean American flavors to Midwest

Joohae "Chewy" Yoon is the proud owner of GOCHEW Burger & Sandwich
Posted at 11:39 AM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-24 12:39:56-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — An Independence health care worker wants to bring authentic South Korean flavors with an American twist to the heart of the Midwest.

"I love Kansas City. I love everybody that I've met in Kansas City, with all my new friends and family, and I wanted to share what I grew up with with them,” said Joohae “Chewy” Yoon of Gochew Burger & Sandwich.

Yoon came to KC 10 years ago, but her food truckis new to the area.

Every detail from the menu to the exterior of the truck pays tribute to her South Korean roots. Her mascot, Chewy, has slivers of red and blue representing the colors of the South Korean flag and K-Pop culture.

While working as a traveling occupational therapy practitioner, she found smaller communities had an appetite to learn about her culture.

“I want to be in the Midwest and I want to have multiple units, starting from Independence, Lexington, Higginsville, Warrensburg, Odessa,” Yoon said.

Her goal is for her customers to fall in love with Korean food through her creations, which is why her menu is devoted to incorporating Korean flavors into American classics like burgers, fries and sandwiches.

"I really enjoy interacting with people who might not be interested, that's where my heart is — I want to slowly convert them,” Yoon said. “That’s what life is all about, trying new things and enjoying it.”

Go Chew will make an appearance Memorial Day weekend at the Island Festival in Independence.

Yoon hopes festival customers will savor the power of bringing two cultures together.

"We keep developing new menus," she said. "Later down the road, I will incorporate more traditional options from Korea."