NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Many are celebrating Korean Thanksgiving this week.
It's a three-day holiday called Hangawi. Leading up to the celebrations, Korean-American business owners based in New York had a chance to show off their innovative products at an expo, all inspired by their Korean culture.
They also had a very special guest in attendance.
Whether it's food, clothes, skincare, or coffee, Korean business owners in the New York City area are drawing from their culture and adding a little bit of a modern spin.
Like Halmi, a line of sparkling beverages inspired by founder Hannah Bae's own Halmi, an affectionate name for grandma in Korean.
"So I grew up with a really sensitive stomach and grew up across the street from my grandma. She used to make me really medicinal, really, really just beneficial food and beverages based off of Korean culture," Bae said.
What started as experiments in a home kitchen in 2020, has now blossomed into cans filled with familiar Korean flavors like cinnamon, ginger, and persimmon.
"Korean American small business owners in many ways are the unsung heroes and the backbone of our local economy," said Kevin Kim, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "And now you're seeing the next generation of entrepreneurs."
A chance to show off the blending of Korean and American cultures at "Hangawi in New York," an early celebration of Korean Thanksgiving.
And there to see the innovative products was Kim Keon Hee, the first lady of South Korea, and local leaders.
The trip was also to promote the country's bid for the 2030 World Expo to be held in Busan -- a city on the south eastern tip of South Korea.
"While you explore the booths, we invite you to experience Korea's journey of high-speed growth," Keon Hee said.
As Koreans celebrate the holiday this week, it's the journey they're thankful for, the people and experiences along the way that have allowed them to carry on their heritage in their own way.