|▲ CEP Kim Jin-hong|
A man florist? Yes, as successfully!
SUSU Garden Café is unique in its concept of enjoying coffee, flowers and plants at one place. Behind this eco-friendly unique concept is CEO Kim Jin-hong. He studied at Haman Agricultural High School, ambitiously went to Seoul after graduation and got a job at a flower shop: it was 30 years ago. Back in the days, a man working in a flower shop was not socially agreeable: those who gave a displeased look to him, however, may regret now if they see how successful a florist he became today; he is received as one of the best man florists, landscapers, lecturers and entrepreneurs.
Indoor garden café
SUSU makes average US$6.1 million sales a year despite the company was only established 3 years ago. When asked the secret of his success, Kim said “Love. I simply just loved flowers and plants very much and I couldn’t and cannot live without them. The love led to idea and the idea (garden café) to passion and hard work and the passion and the hard work to the success I have today.”
It is notable that major department stores in Korea are stretching out their hands to Kim. This is because that people now demand for a place with clean air over cool interior thanks to the recent attack of fine and ultra-find dusts that lasted for several days. In fact, the flood where SUSU Garden Café is located showed 2 times cleaner air than other floors of a department store.
38 years of single path as a florist
Kim won a gold medal in the floriculturist category and swept many prizes at flower decoration competitions including ministerial prizes from the Ministry of Employment and Labor and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He took charge in car parade decoration at the eve festival of the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup, and in garden decoration at the Euro Film Festival in Seoul.
However, he is rather regretful when it comes to the amount of money Koreans spend for flowers: it is estimated that a Korean spends average US$10 on flowers a year which is less than people in North Korea and Africa.
“I actually feel envy of people in Europe who buy flowers like they eat food every day while we buy flowers on the day of graduation, wedding or funeral. I think it is a good idea to buy a flower for myself to see how beautiful it is even just for a while” advised Kim.
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