That delicious Makku? That's my mom's recipe.
In hindsight, it's so obvious that my pragmatic, scientific, and persistent mom was better equipped than me to brew the makgeolli I was yearning for.
Like most immigrant parents, my mother came to America with nothing other than sheer determination and a nursing degree. No cash to fall back on, no family to support her, and not enough English in her vocabulary. But knowing my mom, no surprise that 30 years later, she's set up her own medical clinic, converses fluently in English, and has provided enough for her children, that one of them (me) was able to take a crazy risk and start a makgeolli company. Sometimes I forget how much my mom has sacrificed to get to where she is now, so I want to share her story. She's a dreamer, as am I, and hopefully I'm as happy and successful as her 30 years later.
Growing up, her father was sick, and all her mom's hard-earned money went to pay his hospital bills. So she vowed to study hard and become a nurse. After school, she would teach herself English because she wished to come to America, a dream she kept to herself.
Her dreams came true when she was accepted into a highly competitive program to become a nurse in America. With just $1,000 to her name, she came to NY, where she had one friend. Thankfully, she met my dad early on, at a local church.
Since her mother was always out working, she also vowed to be an excellent stay at home mom. When my older brother was born, she quit her well-paying RN job to dedicate herself to motherhood. With two more children in the picture, she had a full day shuffling us around to our respective schools and all our after school activities. By the time I was in high school, I had tried more than a dozen hobbies: art, cello, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, chess, you name it.
When we finally reached college, my mom decided to go back to work and went back to school to get her PhD. At the age of 50, with English as her second language, my mother received her Doctorate degree in Eastern medicine, graduating as Valedictorian of her class. Now she's opened up her own acupuncture and herbology practice. Despite all this, she's never ignored her motherly duties or skipped a day of cooking an elaborate dinner for our family.
When I left my corporate job to launch Makku, my mother didn't say a word. I'm sure she had her doubts, but she let me figure out my way. After countless batches of my terrible tasting makgeolli, my mom decided she didn't want to taste-test for me anymore, and decided to begin brewing herself. A few weeks in, our eyes lit up when we tried one of her fresh batches, and we were able to translate that recipe to the original Makku out in the market today. My mother set a goal, and figured it out, yet again.
To all the mothers in the world:
Thank you for your love, thank you for your strength, thank you for your support.
Happy Mother's Day. We love you very much.