Where can I get a good cheesesteak in LA?” my parents asked. I replied, “Can’t find one!” That was my father’s “Aha!” moment and the genesis of Boo’s Cheesesteaks and Hoagies.
My parents immigrated to the New Jersey area in 1979 from Seoul, South Korea. It was a tumultuous time in Korea and America was a beacon of light and a land of infinite opportunity. And for my parents, that’s all they could ask for in life, an opportunity. So they took a gamble like so many Korean families and came with nothing but a dream to make it in America. One of my father’s first jobs in America was working at a cheesesteak joint in Germantown. After learning his trade and with the help of some family and friends, my father and mother bought their first business, a cheesesteak/deli joint in Collingswood, New Jersey. My father would take orders, cook cheesesteaks, and make hoagies, all the while having my sister and myself tied to his waist. Unbeknownst to them, this would prove to be invaluable experience for what would transpire thirty years later.
After having told my parents about the lack of good cheesesteaks (and hoagies) in LA, the sweet sap of entrepreneurship began to overflow in all of us. Over the course of the year, my parents scouted locations; I would help with ideas until this “Aha” moment started to become a reality in our lives. But the very first thing that we discussed was that we needed to make a REAL cheesesteak. A cheesesteak that any Philadelphian would proudly say “LEGIT.” And it was absolutely important that we make the authenticity of a cheesesteak and hoagie be at the core of Boo’s. And this is the driving force behind everything that we do and have done since our inception.
Boo’s isn’t just about authentic cheesesteaks and hoagies, but the story of a family that started from the bottom and made it here. And as Boo’s continues to grow, transform and evolve, we will continue to make amazing food, provide excellent service and always represent authenticity.