FORT LEE, N.J. — When Paramus mother Jenny Jeong decided to open a bagel shop in Fort Lee, she turned to the one man she could depend on as a business partner.
"He has always been there for me," said Jeong, who opened Palisades Bagel with her son Raymond Seo in 2010.
"There was no way I was not going to help my mom do this," Seo added. "Me and my mother are very close and she has always supported me."
Jeong, 56, is a Korean immigrant who raised Seo, 30, and his older sister alone after their father died when they were young.
"Not having a father meant we had to grow up pretty fast," Seo told Daily Voice."But my mother has always been there as my mentor helping guide me through life."
"She is the strongest women I know," Seo added.
Jeong worked for over a decade in bagel shops before deciding to strike out on her own. At Palisades Bagel, Seo said the duo has worked out a comfortable dynamic.
"I like making the food and preparing the menus and stuff like that," Seo said. "My mom likes being behind the counter and worrying about the books."
But there are still the occasional family squabbles.
"We butt heads on things just like any business partners would," Seo said. "But it gives me peace of mind knowing that she is helping me run the business because I can trust her and we can tell each other anything."
There relationship is what has helped the business thrive, Seo said.
"I don't think we would have been nearly as successful as we have if it wasn't me and my mom working together," Seo said. "We rely on eachother."
Seo will be hard at work on Mother's Day, which he says is usually a very busy day.
Jeong, however, will get the day off.
"She's earned it," Seo said.