Calling all coffee lovers, tea enthusiasts, and bingsoo connoisseurs!
If you’re you’re looking for something “Coffee & Tea” related with a Korean twist, you’ll want to check out Kudo Society Cafe in Palisades Park, NJ. Cherie Ryu, the owner, loves seeing new and regular customers that come to her cafe, and ensures her offerings satisfy all different tastes and what her customers are in the mood for in every category. The extensive menu ranges from house-made pastries and soups to Korean kimchi rice bowls. If you have a sweet tooth, try their bingsoo, a melt-in-your-mouth shaved ice fusion dessert made of milk, doused in condensed milk and various toppings like mochi and sweet red beans. They also sell award-winning coffee, over a hundred loose-leaf teas, and Korean flavored fruit and yogurt drinks to satisfy anyone’s taste buds.
Ryu as a business owner
As a local business owner, Ryu faces challenges that many other business owners may go through. After losing her business due to a banking collapse, Ryu did some soul-searching, going through past mistakes to try to make her business better and more efficient. With these changes in place, old and new customers began finding Kudo Society on social media and by word of mouth. The rest is history. Kudo Society is breaking cafe records in sales, top reviews, and media attention. Now they are working on their second location and preparing to become a franchise again.
Another challenge is, in Ryu’s words, “balancing a budget to advertise to get new customers while bringing back our loyal customers back. This is why we love Fivestars so much. The program is very cost-effective and gives great results.” Ryu has been putting a Kudo Society twist on the rewards she offers customers. “Our customers favorite reward to redeem is our famous ‘Kudossant’ – a hybrid between and croissant and waffle,” she says. In just one year of using Fivestars, Kudo Society Cafe has around 2,000 members, which puts meaning to their social name. “We love seeing our customers’ happy faces when they type in their phone number to get their points. We can really use this for our second location, too.”
Kudo Society and the community
Ryu and the team at Kudo Society create a #LoveLocal presence in their community by being active in local charity work, sponsoring little league teams and church fundraising in-store at their cafe. The team at Kudo Society believes that being passionate sets the tone of any business. “Once a new customer comes in, we make them part of our ‘Kudo Society’ and become lifetime customers.”
Fun Fact: Ryu went to FIT in NYC for fashion and merchandising. While growing up, she worked seven days a week over the summer to manage her parents’ retail toy business. Every chance she gets, she loves to take a drive with her family to spend quality time and create new ideas.
“Just love life and kudos to life!”