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Eye on Business: Hue Food Market Brings Fresh Food to Cecil B. Moore Ave

 Joseph Yun had a distinct vision for the corner of 16th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Hue Fusion Food Market stands out with a burst of color among the row of dilapidated storefronts it sits among.

 With shelves stocked with basic groceries and a kitchen that serves fresh meats and asian dishes, Hue brings variety and convenience to the Cecil B. Moore community.

Hue Food Market

The exterior of Hue Food Market./Patrick Clark

 For Hue, Yun wanted to echo the style of Wawa for the product.

 “There’s something about Wawa that draws you in unlike other convenience stores. It’s really inviting,” said Yun.

 The connection is palpable when you step into Hue. Hue is customer-first, even without Wawa’s touch screen ordering. Food is cooked to order and while waiting you can pick from an expansive and intriguing number of snacks and drinks. It’s an environment that encourages you to try something new and exciting every time.

 The interior of Hue is simple and bright, with ample natural light coming through the front and side windows.

Hue Food Market

Interior of Hue Food Market./Patrick Clark

 “I tried to keep everything at 90 degree angles to maintain a clean look. And it seems like people really notice and appreciate that,” Yun said of Hue’s design.

 A graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Yun finds himself in a vastly different industry than his art degree would imply.

 “The more I got into working in the industry, I realized it wasn’t for me,” Yun said. “Selling my art for money wasn’t what I had in mind. I kind of fell out of love with art. So I decided to make money a different way and then I can draw what I want and maybe turn that into something later.”

The main counter

The main counter./Patrick Clark

 Yun’s passion for art is still visible in Hue; drawings adorn the shelves behind the checkout area.

 Despite not being a full-time artist, Yun found a practical use for his Pratt degree by designing the logo and interior of the store. Yun’s father assisted with construction, so everything was done in-house. However, Yun’s father had a different idea for the look of Hue.

 “My father wanted to make it a more traditional style corner store, but I knew the approach that I wanted to take for Hue,” Yun said. “And when we noticed people right away stopping and looking through the window, he quickly realized that our design is really important in drawing in customers.”

 Yun subscribes to the post-Steve Jobs school of thought — the philosophy that “less is more.” It’s a school of thought that has had a huge impact on the young college demographics from which Hue draws a large portion of its customer-base, being within three blocks of Temple University.

 Yun used to work in the kitchen of a popular bar near The University of Pennsylvania and saw how well that business did, so he sought out a similar location.

Hue Food Market

Hue Food Market drink selection./Patrick Clark

 “We were looking at younger markets in the city,” he said. “But we weren’t in the position financially to open a spot right on a college campus. So we were looking for a spot that was close, but not with a ridiculous price.”

 Temple, then, was the perfect choice.

 “When I found this property it seemed like no one businesses even wanted to give it a shot,” Yun said. “But I studied the spot every day and I noticed how many students were walking by. I thought that they probably were used to Wawa and would want a place that had that same feel.”

 Now, Hue finds itself at the forefront of the Cecil B. Moore renaissance. With Temple’s inevitable expansion further across Broad Street, Hue is in at the ground floor. Yun recognizes this and is excited to see what the future brings.

 “I’m hoping that people see Cecil B. Moore as a richer more vibrant place now and it further develops.”

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