Five Minutes With... Chang Sup Shin

The CEO of Dubai-based 1004 Gourmet, talks about success, food trends and the experiences he's introducing in-store
Chang Sup Shin.
Chang Sup Shin.

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in the F&B industry?
It was by chance that my father had started a Korean supermarket 11 years ago and when I joined, we decided that I could add some value by focusing on bringing Japanese products and selling it in our shop and restaurants.

How would you describe the concept of 1004 Gourmet?
1004 Gourmet is an Asian centric multi shopping experience where you can buy all the ingredients to cook Asian food at home whilst testing a wide selection of Korean cosmetics at Lamise beauty and enjoy a nice cup of specialty coffee and bingsoo, a homemade Korean shaved ice dessert, at Kaffe Bloom.


What would you say are three key things that have made you successful?
Having a direction has allowed me to be focused on what I do with an end goal. Persistence has given me the opportunity to open accounts and work with clients when I was less established. Passion is what I turn to, to realise that I'm very fortunate to be working in this industry when times are tough.

How do you ensure you stock the right mix of products?
Organising products by categories and making sure there is some variety is important for the customer experience. I also try to keep up with trends and understand consumer's interests. Finally, travelling and visiting local markets gives me the inspiration on what kind of products to bring in.

Are clients in this region becoming more demanding in terms of quality?
Yes. More people are becoming conscious about the food they eat and looking at the labels before they buy the products. Especially families with babies and young children are even more careful about the ingredients in the food and rightfully so. This leads me to prefer healthier products and I try my best to communicate this to my suppliers.

What are some trends that you see emerging in the F&B industry?
I feel like more 'approachable' fine casual restaurants are becoming very popular all over the world. Wine bars, craft beer spaces with sharing plates that are more affordable than high end restaurants but with nice presentation and more food to eat are what people are looking for in a restaurant experience.

Do you have any news you’d like to share?
We have started to host cooking demos and classes in our space several times a month. We work with Korean, Japanese and Thai chefs to cook dishes from those countries so the experience is as authentic as it gets. Please follow our page @kaffebloom or @1004gourmet for more information and we look forward to seeing you there!

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