Episode 1 Growing a Small Business & Community Impact

Roy Choi is a chef and entrepreneur. He started the successful Korean-Mexican taco truck Kogi in 2008 with the goals of bringing "affordable good food to the people" and growing his community impact. In Square's entrepreneurship series, My City, hear individual stories and learn how small businesses impact the community.
Apr 18, 2024 — 2 min read



Roy Choi is Korean-American chef, author, serial entrepreneur, and owner of the popular Korean-Mexican taco truck, Kogi. 

About this video series

My City: Los Angeles ft. Roy Choi

My City: Los Angeles ft. Roy Choi

Follow along as Roy Choi introduces us to three of his favorite Los Angeles business owners who are as dedicated as he is to building community and their businesses.

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Roy Choi: My name is Roy Choi. I'm a chef, entrepreneur, family man, papi here from Los Angeles. Also been hustling and working on this thing called Kogi the last decade, and really trying to bring affordable, good food to the people. No side, no chili. Ian, this is the LA that I love, and I really want to show you small business owners that I believe are connected to the community and continuing to grow the community that they're in.

I grew up in small business. Being a child of immigrants, that's all you had. My dad's liquor store used to be right there. These are the lifeblood of everything that we do. It allows people to make something out of nothing, and that's really what small business is. It forces you to look really deep within yourself. What am I good at? What can I do? This is a town where you could be anything you want to be for someone wanting to start something, boom. The pocket's right there. Empty spot corner lot. I'm going to go in there. I'm going to take it up. I'm going to do it every day. I always stay connected and have my feet on the ground here on the streets.

I'm trying to show you three people that I'm inspired by that I also think represent caring for people, sharing love, and working on a craft that you really believe in. So you have Victor, who his craft is being a barber. There's a legacy to being a barber. There's a culture, there's a skillset that you have to learn. I think it's not just about cutting hair, it's about hospitality. Hector, he's done 80% of my tattoos. He paid his dues. He was apprentice. He had to take so much to get to where he is at. He was trained in the classic forms of this kung fu. What comes from being battle tested is that you build that ability to find that flow where you can achieve something better, something higher.

And then there's Mandy over at pot. What Mandy's doing is so cool because the diversity that travels through her doors is something that I'm really all about making. Pottery shouldn't have anything to do with your financial or racial background. A lot of times where small business comes from is you don't fit into an environment, whether it's the color of your skin, things you may have done in your past.

Small business is a place where you can really create from the ground up. So I hope you get to know Mandy and Heck and Victor and really look at their places and their craft and their businesses and really be inspired by them as well. We can make a pit stop over at Victor's, and then from Victor's, I can make a pit stop over at pot and then that actually takes me right to the one 10, which I could shoot down. I got the fast pass and we could carpool that shit. And then one 10 to the 1 0 5 to the 6 0 5 to the 4 0 5. Yeah, man.


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Jan 23, 2024 — 11 min read

From food truck start up costs to creating a business plan, this guide explains the everything you need to know about how to start a food truck business.

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