2016 KP International

Community Volunteer Awards
2016 Honoree
BJ Yu, KP International Market

2016 Distinguished Business Partner

KP International Market
To be a good community business partner in the past meant a variety of things. Perhaps a company’s product made people’s lives easier. Or maybe they provided jobs in economically challenging times. 

Today there is an increased consumer value in supporting businesses that don’t simply do well, but that do good. We think that KP International Market is one of them.

So, what does “good” look like?

Rancho Cordova arts activities have put our city on the map as a destination for fine art that is approachable to all. No better example is the Rancho Cordova Orchestra concerts hosted by KP.  

KP makes possible a true reliving of how music began in local bazaars and marketplaces. KP not only makes space for 60-piece musical performances, they arrange for publicity and provide a stage and seating for the orchestra, public address system and complimentary lunch for the musicians when the concert is complete. The staff has been heroic in making accommodations for hundreds of orchestra fans and shoppers who stumble upon a performance and enjoy these truly unique experiences. Thanks to KP, Rancho Cordova is walking the talk in making fine art approachable and accessible to all.

KP believes in Rancho Cordova and is investing in our community. In the past year they have opened KP Karaoke, the Red Alcove table top barbeque and construction is now under way for the KP Patio, an outdoor eating venue. Beyond their famous international grocery store, there is the Blue Corner coffee shop and the Red Alcove Korean BBQ. There is Nature Republic and Shiseido. As KP has expanded, they have even added KP Gangnam style karaoke and now KP Billiards is under construction. Still to come is a day spa – all in the heart of Rancho Cordova where investment is most needed. 

As a grocery store, KP is filling a niche – actually filling many. Attracting grocery business to Rancho Cordova has been a 20-year challenge, but KP is doing its share and more to fill the gap. By keeping his eyes open to the community and the opportunities it presents, KP’s owner expanded from a local Korean Market to an international world of tastes that provides hundreds of jobs and has become a regional shopping destination. Today, KP provides more than 200 jobs in the community and good luck finding a parking place on a Saturday afternoon.

In large ways and small, KP is a vital member of the community. KP did not blink when we asked them to provide all the sweet treats needed for the State of the City event reception. If you took a pedicab ride at iFest, it is because KP was a sponsor. And while a visit to KP is always an international adventure, every now and then you might strike it rich and arrive when they are hosting world renowned Korean cultural performances in the eating area.  

Finally, there is no business, no church or community organization that celebrates the Christmas holiday the way KP International Market does.

Each year the Koreana Plaza leads the entire community in expressing the Christmas spirit. Their spectacular display at their Olson Drive location is a magnificent Christmas card to the entire community. Hundreds of white festival lights are strung from light pole to light pole, and Folsom Boulevard and Light Rail riders are greeted by a jolly display of Santa and his sleigh throughout the season. The display continues on all sides of the immense building and even out to the street on Olson Drive, making the Koreana Plaza Christmas Light display the most memorable in the community – and possibly visible from space.

KP is the brainchild of the owner BJ Yu, who is a whirlwind of ideas and energy, always looking for ways to build his business and the community in which he has invested so much. 

We know that companies can no longer afford to profit at the expense of the people or the planet. Being good is not a five-year plan, nor is it a sparkly marketing campaign.

Being good is systemic; it comes top-down and bottom-up, and permeates from every division and department. It is a lifelong pledge from the brand to the consumer, and to the world. In our community, nobody does it better than KP International Market.

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