December Spotlight: Bohemian Moon

The Food & Health Network hosted our third annual Partner Recognition Event on November 6th at the Bohemian Moon in Norwich, NY. The annual event brings together diverse stakeholders from across South Central New York and provides the chance to celebrate regional successes from the last year. Dinner for the recognition event was sourced from local farms and prepared by the Bohemian Moon. Thank you to those farms and businesses who contributed to this years meal; Shared Roots Farm, Stone Horse Farm, Peaceful by Nature Farm, Engelbert Farms, Kingbird Farm, Norwich Meadows, Old Barn Market, and Kutik’s Honey Farm!

Tom Lewis, our Food Access & Development Coordinator, interviewed Mi By Kim, owner of the Bohemian Moon on her background and path into the restaurant industry, on her experience with running a restaurant and her involvement with the Food & Health Network:

On her path to Chenango County:

Mi By stressed that she does not come from any specific background and instead decided to pursue, in her words the most non-specific degree that she could think of, Sociology. Indeed, she says that her only background in food came from, ‘having been raised by an impeccable cook who entertained tirelessly all of her life and still loves cooking at 89 years of age.”  Mi By believes that she was lucky to run into a Frenchman who she said “was trained in the whole range of baking.”

Mi By took a number of different paths before she came to Chenango County and during that time she went from Korea to Hawaii, and then to New York City. She said that, “the stock market crash of 1987 was a jolt that took me for a diversion.” Looking for a little more peace and space it led her to finding a, “piece of paradise in Guilford, NY.”

On her experiences owning a restaurant:

Mi By opened her first eatery, the La Maison Blanche Bakery in 2006. The Bohemian Moon came into her hands three years later. Mi By was not previously a restaurateur and it took her, “a little time to figure out what Bohemian Moon was growing up to be.”  Now, her goal is to “seat three generations of any family and have all of them find something satisfying in terms of taste and quality, whether they are local or well-travelled. This of course led to the eclectic menu.” Mi By stated that, “the Bohemian Moon is evolving as the staff and I are also evolving. I am learning daily about our food sources and our community, we are trying to increase our own farm production as well, to support the two businesses.”

On collaborating with the Food & Health Network:

Mi By has long been a fan of Jack Salo, the Executive Director of the Rural Health Network of South Central New York, and she shared that “it was a pleasure to have his group come to visit us. The event left me with such warm-fuzzy feeling of knowing that some of us are doing all that we can to turn around the madness we are living in. And to witness the energy of young people who care about their wellness and the well being of others is encouraging.”

“Connecting the efforts of people is an area that needs to be worked on. Organizations, agencies, and leaders need to know each other to be more effective and the Food & Health Network serves as a good model to hold and follow. I was happy to introduce also the members of our community to FaHN. It was fun to meet all of you and your support system.”

A very big thank you to Mi By and the staff at the Bohemian Moon for preparing a delicious meal and being wonderful hosts. Be sure to stop by the Bohemian Moon and La Maison Blanche Bakery Cafe whenever you’re in Norwich!