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Enoki
Photos by Raphael Gaultier

Enoki Spices up the General Store Concept in Catskill

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Can homemade kimchi and vintage clothing peacefully coexist in a single shop? At Catskill’s Enoki, the answer is—absolutely.

You can still find plenty of old-school general stores dotting the HV, but there’s a new style emerging that’s turning the model inside out. Case in point: Enoki on Catskill’s Main Street, which shows just what a modern remix of this business can look like. Opened last April by Shirley Lim and Tommy Lam, Enoki offers an unexpected and totally engaging combo of Asian pantry staples and foraged finds, ranging from fashion to furnishings.

Selections of pantry items

Selections of pantry items.

The creative couple (Lim is a partner manager at TikTok; Lam is a freelance graphic designer) headed north to Saugerties from NYC two years ago, says Lim, because “as generic as it may sound, we truly fell in love with the slowness, the nature, and of course the potential to renovate an 1800s house.”

While they didn’t miss the city too much, they pined for some of the ingredients that were in heavy rotation in their NYC kitchen. She’s Korean American, raised in Flushing, Queens; he’s Chinese American, reared in a family of restaurateurs on Long Island.

So the duo stocked Enoki’s shelves with favorites such as dan dan sauce, matcha, sweet potato noodles, and chili oil. These offer a delicious and expansive twist on the often limited options available in local grocery stores, explains Lim. “We wanted to share the ingredients of the food we grew up eating and watching our parents cook. The contemporary Asian-owned products we sell celebrate the ‘old’ and ‘new’ ways that Asian Americans are representing their cultures in authenticity and taste.”

Owners Shirley Lim and Tommy Lam

Owners Shirley Lim and Tommy Lam.

The best seller, however, is Enoki’s homemade kimchi, the spicy, tangy fermented cabbage. “It’s made by my mother, who we call umma [mom in Korean], and the kimchi comes in small batches; maybe 25 or 35 jars at a time,” says Lim. “My mother was born and raised in Busan, South Korea, and she is so grateful to see so many people who know and love her kimchi.”

Along with other treats (choco-churros snack chips from South Korea, for instance) and pantry basics, Lim and Lam sell what they call “foraged finds.” This evolving collection ranges from vintage clothes to objects such as handsome wooden bowls and small antique sculptures. Lam’s designing eye plays a role in selecting these treasures, and the duo is transparent about the role these curated goods play in their success. In one recent post on their @enokicatskill Instagram account, they wrote, “To be super honest, grocery margins are small. Like, 1–3 percent small…our foraged goods and vintage clothing section is what helps keep us afloat.

The exterior of Enoki on Main Street

The exterior of Enoki on Main Street.

It’s also part of what makes Enoki such a fun place to visit and browse. The sleek, sunny space is currently open Thursday through Sunday, and ideas are brewing for more offerings. “We hope we can expand to continue sharing our culture and maybe in the future provide fresh, ready-to-go foods for locals and travelers,” says Lim.

The couple has had their hands full with Enoki in more ways than one. Just a couple of weeks after the store opened, they welcomed their firstborn, a daughter named…yep, Enoki. (The name was chosen for baby first, store second.)

P.F. Candle Co.’s linen sprays.

P.F. Candle Co.’s linen sprays.

As they nurture their growing family and business, Lim and Lam like to explore the Valley’s food scene. Among their current favorites: Kingston’s Top Taste, Willa’s and Hemlock (for cocktails) in Catskill, Lil Deb’s Oasis and Yummy Kitchen in Hudson, and Aba’s Falafel in Rhinebeck. “We are food lovers to our core,” says Lim. “Our cultures are known for how we bond over food!” And Enoki, of course, offers more of those bonding opportunities, as the couple introduces customers to delicious new tastes and the traditions behind them.


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