FOREIGN. FRESH. FUN.
The Short History of a Big Idea
After extensive travels to Asia and gorging themselves with pastries and desserts from different lands, founders Moul Kim and Lawrence Wai returned to New York with post-travel depression. Emptiness and sadness filled their lives and the memories of the fresh aromas of Japanese bakeries, Taiwanese cake shops and Korean pastry shops brought temporary flashes of glee and euphoria. Determined to fill this void in their life, Moul and Lawrence set out to make a change for the better. First, they found another lost soul in Executive Chef Kevin Kim, who hails from the likes of Per Se and Bouchon. After a couple of drinks, and then a couple more, the 3 amigos came up with the brilliant plan of recreating their experiences overseas and the idea of Keki was born shortly after. The 3 set out on a pilgrimage to local farms and ranges in search of the freshest of fresh ingredients. Our range-free eggs are sourced from Upstate NY while our organic dairy products are delivered from Amish Country in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.
Chinatown, NYC has a special place in our hearts as we grew up and frequented this neighborhood, whether it was eating Dimsum on Sunday mornings with the family, playing basketball in Columbus Park, playing Street Fighter at Chinatown Fair or negotiation prices on the latest “Cucci” handbags. After the tragedy of 9-11 and the financial crisis of 2008, we saw this once vibrant neighborhood start to decline and decay with many of the old world shops closing after many years of business. It only made sense to us that the first Keki flagship should be located in the Dragon’s heart of Chinatown on Mott Street. In April of 2017, Keki officially launched with much fanfare and press. Customers from far and distant lands such as Nu Joisey and Strong Island have come to visit, locals come up to thank us for helping reinvigorate the neighborhood. We have continually strived to make our bakery and community better with your continued support, so come check us out, “This isn’t your Grandma’s Chinatown anymore!”
Committing to Conventions
Moul and Lawrence recruited Executive Chef Kevin Kim, who hails from the likes of Per Se and Bouchon to capture fun with desserts. With Chef Kim on board, the three set out on a pilgrimage to local farms and ranges in search of likeminded partners. They knew the secret to other-worldly flavor was to keep things simple, pure, and local: fresh ingredients, cage-free, eggs, grass-fed dairy.
We had a vision, a plan, and all we needed was a location. Keki Modern Cakes was born in Chinatown. It's where we came of age and it's where we knew Keki would thrive. And thrive it did. So much so, we were able to open a second location in Koreatown, celebrating another neighborhood for inspiring us everyday.