Founder of Popular Kimchi Company Found Stabbed to Death in His Portland Apartment
The popular co-founder of a Portland kimchi company was found fatally stabbed inside his apartment last week.
Matthew Choi, who started Choi’s Kimchi with his mother Chong in 2011, died of a homicide by stabbing, according to the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.
“Matt’s life was senselessly taken away early Sunday morning when a stranger broke into his apartment while he was asleep and took his life,” according to a GoFundMe page set up to help page for funeral expenses.
According to the Portland Oregonian, officers arrived at Choi's Southeast Portland apartment complex just before 2 a.m. on Oct. 25. He was treated by paramedics on the scene, but he later died from his injuries, the Oregonian reports.
No arrests have been made. However, Portland police are searching for a potential suspect described as a medium-build Black male, approximately 5'8" to 5'11." The suspect was wearing dark clothing and a blue mask.
Police said they are looking for any video from nearby residences and businesses to help solve the slaying.
The family’s website described 33-year-old Choi’s death as a “senseless tragedy” and his life as “full of ambition and love.”
“He loved his family, he loved his friends, he loved his mom, and he loved her kimchi so much he shared it with the world,” the statement reads. “In just ten short years we watched Choi’s Kimchi grow from a humble booth in the Portland Farmers Market to a wholesale specialty food manufacturer with our kimchi, sauces, and pickled products found in stores and local restaurants throughout the Northwest. He was behind every decision here; every part of this company was his heart and soul.”
“He is the reason Portland loves kimchi,” Choi’s friend Han Ly Hwang told the Oregonian.
"He was extremely special," Amy Jermain of Xxcelerate, a service provider for women-owned businesses in Oregon, said, KGW reports.
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The Portland Farmers Market also posted a memorial for Choi, who was a member of its board of directors, on Facebook.
“His cheerful spirit, broad knowledge of food production and generous heart gave meaningful input to many decisions of our organization,” the statement reads. “Matt was a wonderful leader and mentor in the food artisan community. He built close ties with other vendors, offered support and spread his friendliness with all."
Anyone with information about Choi’s death is asked to contact Detective Ryan Foote at 503-823-0781 or Ryan.Foote@portlandoregon.gov; or Detective Travis Law at 503-823-0395 or Travis.Law@portlandoregon.gov.