Hi! My name is Sandy Han and I'm the owner of CHARIM, a neighborhood shop filled with clean, delicious Korean cuisine.
I simply love food. I love to cook and eat well. My journey with CHARIM started the moment I realized that cooking and feeding those around me was my love language.
As much as I wanted my family to eat clean, there was never enough time nor did I have the energy to gather ingredients, prep and cook every single meal.
My vision for CHARIM is simple: to offer delicious dishes that taste homemade by sourcing fresh, premium ingredients. In so doing, provide a solution for our busy lifestyles without sacrificing taste or quality.
Everything we offer is made in-house in small batches as we believe this is the only way to retain the integrity of a dish.
CHARIM means to "set-up" or "outfit" in Korean. Eponymous to our name, we'd love to set your table up every day of the week. We welcome you to stop by for a quick bite or bring home a glorious spread to feed your loved ones.
What sets us apart...
When we opened our doors, we made a pledge to use the freshest ingredients available. This means flying in core ingredients from the Motherland and sourcing the freshest and cleanest locally. Even at the height of the pandemic when things were looking grim, we chose to align with our pledge and believed that our customers would be able to taste the difference. We were right. Even though we were open less than a year prior to lockdown, our customers soon became regulars and kept us afloat during the most difficult times.
No MSG or preservatives
Despite the conflicting research on MSG and its effects on the body, it's a personal choice. Everybody, literally every body, reacts differently. Unfortunately, most of what you’ll find in prepared food sections of supermarkets are commercially, mass-produced, designed-to-last dishes laden with MSG and preservatives. "Clean", "mildly seasoned yet delicious", "ingredient forward", "tastes just like my mom's/grandma's", these are words we hope our dishes conjure in your mind as you enjoy our freshly prepared spread. The choice is yours. What you put in your body is up to you. How your body reacts to it is the truth.
Zero Waste & Eco-friendly
Piping hot soup poured into plastic containers and eating the contents of that container. This is not acceptable and should not be practiced. We strive to be a zero-waste establishment and only use compostable containers made from corn, sugarcane and wheat fibers. Food touching food fibers. There's no need to worry about chemicals from plastics leaching into your food. Choose to protect your body and join us in preserving Mother Earth for our future generation. Every container counts.
Everything is made on-premise
Every single dish, soup, dumpling, snack that we offer at the store is made in-house, on-premise. We do not offer mass produced, commercially made items and repackage them as our own. When we first opened, it was shocking how many "banchan" vendors walked in soliciting their products. Cat's out of the bag, this is one of the industry's big secrets. There's a reason why store-bought banchans relatively taste the same. If there's one thing that we've earned from our customers, it's trust. It took time building that trust and it was built on delivering our promises over and over again and staying true to our vision.
No Tap Water, Ever
New Jersey doesn't have the best quality tap water as many of you already know. You may be thinking, it's only water, what's the big deal? Imagine using this water to boil down soup stock for hours and days on end. For this reason we use only filtered spring water delivered to our shop for all of our kitchen needs. Yes, even to soak our beans, rice, seaweed, etc. It's better for our bodies, without a doubt cleaner and a world of difference when it comes to taste.