Brilliant transformation of rice cake Pocheon’s famous ‘Seolgi-kok’

Pocheon’s agricultural products and new specialties made by young entrepreneurs Ingenious combinations of various ingredients, great taste and pleasure to look at 신태섭 기자l승인2023.01.18l수정2023.01.18 14:06







Korean rice cake is undergoing a colorful transformation. There was a strong perception that rice cake, a traditional food enjoyed on holidays or special occasions, is somewhat outdated. Recently, however, it is transforming with new look, taste and smell and it captivating heart of female consumers. While the bakery market is being saturated, rice cake products have been growing rapidly since the end of the 2000s. The industry predicts that the current domestic rice cake market will approach 3 trillion won backed up by simplicity and fanciness of rice cakes found in the market nowadays. While the number of young women looking for rice cakes is increasing, there is also a phenomenon that they want to make it over buying. Oh Joo-hyun, CEO of Yout Store, is one of them.


Ingenious combinations of various ingredients, great taste and pleasure to look at

Youth Shop introduces a new dessert with fusion rice cakes

It is fun to choose and eat rice cakes for snack or meal. The rice cake made by a young female CEO in her 20s in Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do, has all the elements that we are enthusiastic about. She is winning in the dessert market with ingenious combinations of various ingredients and colorful rice cakes. For all ingredients, she prefers to use agricultural products from Pocheon or only the best ingredients in the nation. 


‘Dalki Kok Seolki’ made with unsparing strawberries and strawberry jam

‘Heumimja Kok Seolki’ made with black sesame seeds and peanuts

The youth store has a variety of rice cakes. All of them are full of ingenious and unique look, smell and taste. Dalki Kok Seolki in particular is made of non-glutinous rice and strawberry produced in Pocheon. The strawberry pieces are embedded in the rice cake, giving it a unique chewing texture. Sagwa Kok Seolki also uses apples produced within the city and it gives freshly aromatic taste with apple cinnamon on top of soboro (streusel). Heumimja Kok Seolki especially is good for those who intend to avoid sweetness. Other worth trying are cheese, chocolate and con-based rice cakes. 

It is notable that all cakes here are handmade. Because of this, the look might not be regular in terms of shape and length cake by cake. 


A feast of unexpected flavors from Chapsal Pound

Full of chewy seolgki and sweet red bean paste

If Seolki (white rice cake) Kok is a bread-like rice cake, Chapsal (glutinous) Pound is a rice cake-like bread. Made with Pocheon glutinous rice, it has a good chewy texture with good mixture of coconut, churros, chocolate, cheese and mugwort. The sandwich-like Angbeo Teok in particular is rich in red beans and high quality anchor butter, the reason it is a highly sought after gift. It is also noteworthy that all rice cakes of Youth Store have cabbage and malt water in the dough. Cabbage helps digestion as much as malt water. This might the reason that rice cakes of Youth Store do not make you feel sick even after you ate more than you could chew. 


Gangneung Coffee in Gangneung and Sip Won Pang in Gyeongju and Seolki Kok in Pocheon

Many have not tried Youth Store rice cakes but you will have more than once if tried

Each region has its famous food. And Youth Store and Seolki Kok is emerging as a specialty of Pocheon. Youth Store was founded in 2021 but it is growing fast. In the early days of the business, the brand was mainly known among people in Pocheon. But now it is loved by men and women of all ages nationwide. Customers who purchase online often place group orders for events or gatherings. At the Mega Show Season 2 held at COEX, Seoul, rice ckaes of Youth Store had a sold out rally for 4 days in a row. Many purchased again and again after tasting it proving the saying “Many have not tried it yet but you will have more than once if trying.” 


▲ Youth Store / CEO Oh Joo-hyun

No preservatives and no chemical substances

Healthy snack, happy break

After graduating from engineering college, CEO Oh Joo-hyun started making and selling rice cakes she liked instead of getting a job. Because she loves them so much, she never uses preservatives or chemical substances. She makes rice cakes with her staff every day during the day and does paperwork at night. Starting in February this year, she plans to hold pop-up events at several department stores in Seoul, and offline stores are also scheduled to open soon. 

Oh said, “I want to repay all my customers who have trusted and loved Youth Store for the past year. I will continue to try to make my traditional snacks different, special and healthy. Meanwhile, I and my team are preparing a space where we can meet our customers to directly gather their feedback.” 

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