Many students visit Good Nature Market late at night for two reasons — to buy a late-night snack and see Joshua Ham.
In an announcement that was heartbreaking to countless members of the Yale community, Ham — a Good Nature Market employee who worked and bonded with hundreds of students over late night shifts — announced he is leaving his position at the deli in a Wednesday Facebook post.
Ham wrote that “everyone has a few choices … in their lives,” so he is “going to leave … [the market] where [he has] worked for seven years to try [his] other future.” Ham told the News that he is moving to New Hyde Park, New York, where he recently bought a bagel shop — called Bagel Haus. He plans to run the shop with his family. Ham’s last day working at GHeav will be on Saturday.
Yale circles will remember Ham, who immigrated from South Korea to the U.S. in 2001, for his mild disposition and love of University sports teams, which he often posted about on Facebook. Ham often mans the Gheav cashier station until the late hours of the night, especially on chaotic weekends. At this time, students, fresh out of parties and other social events, came to the market for a late-night meal.
When asked what he will miss most about Yale, Ham answered, “Of course Yale students,” adding “and drunk Yale students.”
Upon reading the Facebook post, Yale students — many of whom are Facebook friends with Ham — commented that they were devastated. His Facebook announcement received more than 1200 reactions, including 267 sad reactions. Additionally, the post garnered 109 comments as of Thursday night, mostly from students who expressed their sadness at his departure and wished him well.
“When you were stressed, it always felt good to hear Josh greet you as you walked through that door,” Brian Li ’21 told the News.
Ham, who often sported a Yale cap or other apparel with university branding, was an avid fan of the University’s Division I sports teams. He often attended home sports games and posed for pictures with entire teams, including, most recently, women’s hockey, gymnastics and fencing.
“Josh is one of those people that you’re always excited to see because he instantly brightens your day,” said McKenzie Cooke ’21, a member of the volleyball team. “He has been one of Yale volleyball’s biggest supporters — coming to all our home games and even proudly displaying his autographed copy of the team poster behind the Gheav counter.”
But Ham also attended other student events such as concerts, serving as a regular presence in students’ everyday lives.
“Josh was a staple presence in the lives of what I feel like must be almost every Yalie’s college experience,” Luke McKenna ’21 said.
Although McKenna was disappointed by Ham’s departure, he believes that “the move to New York will be a great opportunity for professional and personal development for someone who’s dedicated so much of his time to Yalies.”
When asked if he had any message for the Yale community upon his departure, Ham said “I will miss you and don’t forget for me. I’m always with you!! Don’t stress … be happy!! Now is your best day and youngest on your life. You can dream it, You can do it!!”
Good Nature Market is located at 15 Broadway.
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