October’s Show and Tell
By Laura Hayes
When parents pass on, it’s natural to hold on to some of their treasured earthly possessions. When Andrew Kim—founder of matchboxfoodgroup, which has 12 restaurants in the Metro-D.C. area including Ted’s Bulletin and Matchbox—lost his mom in 2008, it meant taking home her collection of 1,500 Pez dispensers: “They remind me of something that put a smile on her face,” Kim says.”
It’s fitting that these restaurants, like Kim, have a nostalgic side. The massive Pez collection is now on display at matchboxfoodgroup’s headquarters in the District.
Kim is adding to the collection, but he’s on a specific mission. “I’m just trying to complete sets,” Kim says. Kim’s personal favorite: Star Wars.
Kim’s mother didn’t begin amassing PEZ until the late 1980s, but there are certain dispensers, like Mickey Mouse, that date back to the ’50s or ’60s. As with most collectables, the older the dispenser, the more valuable it is. “The ones without the little feet are antiques and worth quite a bit more,” Kim explains. A quick check on eBay doesn’t show any astronomical asking prices, though—a vintage Pluto dispenser sans feet was available for $5.
Although Kim and his wife, Addie, have two sons, he’s not sure if he will saddle them with the collection. “I don’t know if I want to pass down all that clutter.”
Laura Hayes hails from Philly (but don’t hold it against her). She’s been covering the local dining scene for three years, and her work has been published in the Washington Post, Food Network, Washington City Paper, Arlington Magazine and more. Having lived in Japan for two years, she finds herself in a constant state of craving sushi. Laura always orders her favorite savory dish again for dessert and keeps her gut in check through lots of CrossFit classes.