May is Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month where we honor and pay tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have helped elevate our country's history and play a vital role in its future success.
In honor of Healthy Spot's 14th birthday and AAPI Month, we wanted to highlight our co-founders, Andrew Kim and Mark Boonnark, both second-generation Asian Americans. We asked Andrew and Mark to share a little about their family background, their thoughts on the importance of AAPI Month and how their heritage played a role in starting Healthy Spot and helped shape the company culture.
When did your families immigrate to the United States?
Andrew: I'm a second-generation Korean American and both my parents are Korean. They immigrated here separately in their early 20s, met and married in LA.
Mark: I'm a second-generation Thai American. My mom is technically Thai Chinese as her parents originally immigrated from China to escape communism. My dad is of full Thai descent. They immigrated here separately in their early 20s, met in Seattle and got married in New York.
Why do you think it's important to celebrate AAPI history and culture?
Andrew: It's important to remember our roots and celebrate our heritage, as it allows us to align in our similarities and celebrate our differences. The AAPI community has a long-standing place in American History and growing significance today. I am extremely proud of the contributions our community has made to the growth of our country and am excited about the impact moving forward.
Mark: I've always felt blessed and proud to be an American, but what is equally important to me is celebrating our heritage and our history. We are a nation of immigrants and it's important to remember, share, and learn from the history of all the races and cultures that make up our country and truly make it a unique place in the world.
How did your cultural upbringing drive how you approached the launch of Healthy Spot and our company culture?
Andrew: My parents were both entrepreneurs and from an early age, instilled in me a strong work ethic, commitment to excellence and service mindset. This was consistent in many of the first generation immigrants from Korea. Many of those values including a long term outlook on relationships versus transactions and community building are evident in Healthy Spot's identity.
Mark: My parents immigrated here for opportunities that they did not have back in Thailand. They both had a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit while they worked for others or when they started their own businesses. I believe I carry their work ethic and their resiliency, but also their humility and sense of responsibility to their family and community. A lot of immigrants relied heavily on their cultural communities as they tried to survive and find success here, and a lot of immigrants also sent money back to support their families back in their countries. This taught me the importance of giving back and helping others along my own journey regardless of what success we may find.
At Healthy Spot, we are extremely proud of our diverse community and are grateful for the past 14 years of supporting healthy pet lifestyles to all of the neighborhoods we serve. Please join us in celebrating our Asian American and Pacific Islander family members this month!