TAKOMA PARK, Md. — Perhaps you’ve seen the newest restaurant take shape in Takoma Park. SeoulFood DC on Carroll Avenue opened earlier this summer and is so popular that owners Jon and Anna Goree have had to close on Sunday and stop serving during lunch just to keep up with demand. “We were working 15 hours every day, I can’t do that and stay creative,” Anna Goree said. “I want my customers to have the best experience possible.”
Jon and Anna met while working at Whole Foods. They shared a passion for cooking and eating good food. They decided to open a food truck that would serve, among other things, “bison burgers” Jon said. That all changed when Anna, who is originally from South Korea, made Jon a traditional Korean dish called bibimbap. After just one bite, Jon knew that the food truck would sell Anna’s culinary creations. Bibimbap is the one dish John still eats every day and remembers fondly the first time Anna made it for him.
The food truck was just the beginning of their journey. They invested everything to get the food truck on the road, time, money and all their energy. They navigated the bureaucracy of local ordinances to keep the food truck open during peak lunch hours.
For several years SeoulFood DC operated as one of the most popular lunch-time food trucks in Arlington, VA, before the couple relocated the business to Wheaton. “We had a friend who opened a gas station and said I have a big kitchen, can you use it?” Anna said. For the next seven months they operated the food truck and established a small sit-down and carry out shop in the heart of Wheaton. It didn’t take long for them to become a hit in Wheaton. Many of the former lunch time Arlington customers would make the drive to SeoulFood DC in Wheaton on weekends just to have the culinary delights they were used to.
They decided to donate the food truck to a Maryland charity that helps students in poverty have access to lunch. And after three years in Wheaton the business was so popular that they needed a bigger space to accommodate their customers. They found the ideal location in Takoma Park.
Anna and Jon again put all their efforts into opening the newest version of SeoulFood DC on Carroll Avenue. Customers are coming from Arlington, Wheaton, and everywhere Anna said. This new location “is the last time we will move” she said. Anna and John want to continue to offer customers new, different, and unique experiences in their culinary creations. They certainly are putting all their heart and Seoul into making that happen.