Born to Korean immigrants, Myo was raised in Paraguay and first lived in the US while attending college. After graduating, she officially moved to New York City to work in finance. Realizing her true passion for cooking after many years in her previous field, Myo started working in restaurants and eventually transitioned to food media. She is currently Editor at Simply Recipes, and of course, is the baker & co-mastermind behind Pear.
Prompted by the rise of COVID-19 in New York City, Myo and her husband uprooted their family before situations worsened. Their original plan? Drive South until they reached extended family. Charlottesville was just a blip on a map. They originally had no plans on living here – but one night in the nearby town of Orange, turned to two, and a year later, they are here in Charlottesville to stay and so are Myo’s baked goods.
Starting as an impromptu holiday cookie project between Myo and her friend Holly, of Whisper Hill Farm, Pear was born. They made 200 boxes of homemade cookies during COVID and donated them to families in need. With increased interest and popularity, Pear transformed into a Farmer’s Market stand where Myo continues to share her culinary genius with us!
Drawing inspiration from her own life, she incorporates various aspects of her identity into her creations. Ranging from the name “Pear” to each baked good, Myo’s goal has been to share a little bit about herself through her business. Pear symbolizes ‹her – pears are her favorite fruit, and they hold a special place in her heart as they mean affection in many cultures. Her bakes represent what is familiar to her and what she eats & enjoys in her daily life. By sharing and connecting to her life, she hopes patrons are able to open their minds as well as their palettes.
We talked specifically about a special menu of goodies she created centering her childhood experiences and personal identity. Impacted by the rise in Anti-Asian hate, especially in New York City (a place she considers home), her bakes became a creative outlet for her to process recent events. She created items that have often brought her comfort during trying times, as many are unavailable unless she bakes them herself.
Furthermore, she donated part of the proceeds to hollaback!, “a global people-powered movement to end harassment in all its forms by transforming the culture that perpetuates hate and harassment” (now Right to Be)
Each one of her goodies told a different story. The alfajores are treats she found everywhere in Paraguay, whether perusing through convenience stores or at a friend’s home. The castellas are special Japanese cakes adopted into and popularized in Korean culture and are only eaten during special occasions, < often with family. The carrot cake is a common Brazilian treat her mom often replicated and mastered. The choco torta is a Argentinian cake made using chocolate maria cookies, dulce de leche, and chocolate. Lastly, the lemon-glazed olive oil cake was inspired by her mother, as Myo tried imagining what her mother would order if she explored the Charlottesville farmer’s market.