May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. And while these communities deserve support and recognition year-round, AAPI Heritage Month is still a good time to formally honor the contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to this country throughout its history, while also acknowledging that those same communities have endured a number of hardships during this pandemic year. Perhaps most important though, it’s a crucial time to remember that the spirits of the AAPI communities remain resilient and bold. Just ask Patrick Mock, a community advocate and the manager of 46 Mott Bakery in New York’s Chinatown, or Pooja Bavishi, the Brooklyn-based founder and CEO of Malai Ice Cream. Both have recently shifted their entrepreneurial mindsets into community-driven initiatives, showcasing the kind of Asian excellence that deserves to be recognized during AAPI Heritage Month and throughout the year. 

That’s also why Macy’s tapped Mock and Bavishi to showcase their businesses, while celebrating AAPI Heritage Month, modeling Asian-owned lifestyle brands that it stocks, in addition to explaining how a little luxury helps them get through their long days. Scroll through to see what these leading business owners have to say about self care, work, and community. Needless to say, the generational legacies they’re passing down are strong.

 

Patrick Mock

“I was born and raised in Chinatown, in New York City. I’m your local Chinatown street kid,” Patrick Mock tells us when we first speak to him. As such, Mock was well aware that the residents and business owners of Chinatown were suffering from drops in foot traffic and revenue months before New York went into COVID-19 lockdown last March. So as manager of the beloved 46 Mott Bakery, Patrick Mock quickly shifted his day-to-day operations so that he could provide free meals for Chinatown’s elderly and vulnerable, saving the rest to feed local medical staff. Since then, he’s become a true community leader, masterminding projects like “Light Up Chinatown” to help reignite business and working to make vaccination sites more accessible in his neighborhood. To help celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, Mock was kind enough to tell us a bit about his life, his work, and how he’s helped New York’s Chinatown over the past year.