Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Korean previously wrote about ethnic niche businesses -- for example, apparently Koreans are prevalent in the donut stores around Dallas/Ft. Worth area. An interesting New York Times article discusses the same idea in New York:
For generations, sociologists have been studying the way immigrant groups gravitate to such pursuits and professions. In New York lately, Filipinos and West Indians dominate nursing. South Koreans have a lock on fruit stands, delis and nail salons, while Afghans have established themselves as the city’s fried-chicken and coffee-cart kings. In the past, ethnic niches have been so distinctive that speaking of a Jewish social worker or an Irish cop seemed a redundancy. In the late 1970s, a Greek luncheonette that seemed to serve mostly “cheezborger, cheezborger” became a running skit on “Saturday Night Live.”
In a Deadly Bus Crash, an American Tale [New York Times]


  1. I wasn't aware of delis and nail salons being a prevalent Korean business in New York...that is strange, yet interesting.

    Here in the greater Seattle area, most Korean families and my friends parents either own a Korean restaurant, teriyaki restaurant (or sushi, bubble tea, pho), gas station, cell phone dealership store like T-Mobile, Verizon, etc., or dry cleaners. I have yet to see a nail salon, although there are quite a few beauty/hair salons too.

  2. I think the Vietnamese have a lock on all the nail salons in the DC metro area.

  3. Viets have Dallas nail salons on lock. I've seen two in the same mall right by my house and many more in the vicinity.

    My ex's family actually owned two donut shops for 20+ years and I have other friends who work for family in the business. Most of the sushi bars are Korean owned as well. I never really understood the idea behind it, but this explanation actually makes a lot of sense aside from NRB and PC Bangs. Here's actually a tragic story of one Dallas donut store in a less than desirable part of town. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20100121-Family-police-ask-for-help-4254.ece

    Slowly though I'm seeing moves being made here in the Metroplex such as a golf course acquisition by Sam Moon, Yogurt stores, Wine bars, hair stylists, etc.

    In distribution our company was under review to land a large contract with Samsung so everything had to be top notch. I was honestly surprised to see a small group of Indian (perhaps they could be Persian) men who were the ones sent to check out our operations. Not really sure why I was expecting anything else.

  4. There are political and historical roots to the high volume of Filipino nurses in the U.S. dating to the American colonial rule of the Philippines. Nursing schools were established by Americans to train Filipino nurses to fill vacancies in U.S. hospitals. Is there a similar background to the donut phenomena?


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