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AAPI Heritage Month - Eight Asian American Owned Brands & Their Stories

๐ŸŽ‰In honor of AAPI Heritage month, we are celebrating by inviting the below founders of AAPI-owned brands to share their stories behind the creation of their products! 

Scroll to discover how these founders help shape our Asian American food community today. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

 

๐Ÿฅฅ Dang Foods 

“ I launched Dang, naming it after my Mom. We’ve used inspiration from our Thai-American heritage to create Asian American snacks so delicious you’ll say...“Dang, that’s good!” 

- Vincent Kitirattragarn, CEO & Founder of Dang Foods  

Living in between Bangkok & NYC, Vincent launched a pop up restaurant with his mother (Mama Dang)'s recipe for toasted coconut. From there, he started perfecting those coconut strips from scratch. After receiving much praise from his roommates, Vincent decided to launch his own snack food company and name it Dang after his mother. Now, Vincent and his brother Andrew are creating their line of snacks that are inspired by their Thai-American heritage.

Coconut chips are Dang's most popular item and contain nothing but the good stuff! There are no preservatives and contain 50% less sugar than regular apple chips! 

 

๐Ÿฅ˜ Fila Manila 

Filipino flavors for everyone!

"Our Filipino Adobo is based off my Dad's recipe and our Caldereta comes from my Mom's version that she would make on special occasions."

- Jacob Deleon, Founder of Fila Manila

Jacob is a proud immigrant who launched this brand to add authentic seasonings to the Filipino-American kitchen. So what makes these sauces so special? The Adobo sauce won the NEXTY Award for Best New Condiment 2021. Not only is it packed with flavor, but also contains no artificial colorings, is gluten-free and vegan friendly! These sauces can also be used to marinate meat, in stir fries, or even as dipping sauces. 

Shop these traditional simmering sauces including Kare-Kare peanut sauce, adobo sauce and Caldereta tomato sauce that were all inspired by Fillipino recipes and comfort foods today and create your own Filipino warming dish at home!

 

โ˜• Nguyen Coffee Supply

1st generation, Vietnamese-American, Millennial and woman-owned, Nguyen Coffee Supply was founded by entrepreneur Sahra Nguyen. Sahra has been an activist for woman power by providing coffee training, education in premium coffee production, education scholarships for girls from villages, and developing the local economy for more women to have more opportunities!

After successfully building the first specialty Vietnamese coffee company importing directly from the source, Sahra will continue to transform the coffee industry through diversity, sustainability & cultural integrity.

Nguyen Coffee Supply also strongly values the importance of having direct-trade relationships with their farmers in Vietnam in order to deepen their partnerships to produce their delicious blends of specialty Vietnamese coffee beans.

 

๐Ÿฅž Ninong’s Dessert Lab

Calling our Ube fans๐Ÿ’œ

"In everything we sold at our cafe, including our pancakes, we were adamant that the Philippine flavors that we know and love wouldn’t get lost so we worked and worked on our recipe until we got it just right." 

- Kissa Ortega, Founder of Ninong's Dessert Lab

Pancakes were something Kissa's family would make on weekend mornings growing up, so she decided to put her own spin on it! Back in 2012, to put their brand on the map and share their food with other cultures, Ninong's started selling their ube pancakes in an area that wasn't densely populated with Filipino eateries. Kissa ensures that all the Filipino flavors are reflected in her recipes. It is not a surprise that their Ube Pancake Mix is a big hit beloved by all pancake lovers! 

When COVID hit, despite having to close down her restaurants due to the pandemic, Kissa pivoted with a brand new creation - Ube Pancake Mix! Thanks to Ninong's, we can now enjoy our own ube pancakes at home~ (:

 

๐Ÿฒ Omsom

"Omsom is a manifestation of the proud + loud joy we feel as first-gen Vietnamese Americans and daughters of refugees."

- Kim Phan & Vanessa Phan, Founders of Omsom

As first-generation Vietnamese Americans and daughters of refugees, Omsom founders Kim and Vanessa aim to give Asian Americans a true taste of home that cannot be bought at other regular grocery stores. The name "Omsom", which means "rowdy" or "rambunctious" in Vietnamese, aims to bring that BOLD and LOUD energy to our fingertips during any day of the week.

Omsom's starters packs that come in three are the perfect shortcut to your favorite Asian cuisines as they are all already combined with sauces, aromatics, and seasonings. Shop the sisters' favorite Vietnamese Lemon Grass BBQ Starter Pack to enjoy a twist of bold aromatic touch on your BBQ today!

 

๐ŸŸ Son Fish Sauce

“I would like us to have a product on the shelf that everybody can be proud of.”

- Danny Tran, CEO of Son Fish Sauce

Husband and Wife, Danny and Albee, brought their family’s premium, 1-year aged anchovy fish sauce to the US when they founded Son Fish Sauce in California in 2014. It all started on Son Rai Island in the western southern region of Vietnam when Danny's great-grandfather, Pham Van Khon began producing high-quality fish sauce in 1951. Amid the difficulties faced during the pandemic, Danny and his wife were kind enough to donate $50,000 worth of fish sauce to low-income households and area restaurants.

Today, Son Fish Sauce is a fourth-generation, private family-owned fish sauce maker currently used by Michelin Star chefs and James Beard award winning restaurants. While it has became chefs' favorite fish sauce, it is also the must-have dipping sauces at multiple Vietnamese households. 

 

๐Ÿ‘ฌ Twins Kimchi

Long before Twins Kimchi was a brand, founder Angela Byon was making homemade kimchis for her identical twin sons. She couldn’t find kimchis that were both healthy and tasty in US markets; it was imperative to her that her sons grow up with traditional Korean banchans, but was uncompromising about the ingredients. 

Over the years, with encouragement and homemade kimchi requests from her friends and family who she shared her kimchi with, she decided to launch Twins Kimchi, named after her inspiration, her twin sons. The recipes and ingredients are still the same she used to make her homemade kimchis. Angela hopes to share her Korean culture through Twins Kimchi and make kimchis for all families to enjoy without worrying about whether the kimchi is healthy or not. 

 

๐Ÿฅฃ Yishi Oatmeal Cups

"I believe food is emotional. Every bite comes with flavors, experiences, and memories. Every cup of oatmeal we sell helps someone strengthen the connection they have with our culture and connect with others in our community,"

- Lin Jiang, Founder & CEO of Yi Shi Oatmeal Cups

Growing up in China, Lin Jiang has filled up her appetite with delicious and nutritious food her mom cooked for her. Her favorite one was the black sesame porridge that was made with love and ingredients chosen to provide energy and wellness. After coming to the States, Lin couldn’t find similar oatmeals that gave the same nutty and toasty flavor of her mom’s porridge. This prompted her to found Yishi. She wanted to share her childhood memories and authentic flavors of home to people through every bite of oatmeal.

Yishi oatmeal cups come in three unique flavors never-before-seen in the world of oatmeal: Matcha latte, taro boba tea, and toasted black sesame.

 

#AAPIMonth Community Eventโ€‹

Create a tasty recipe using products from any of these AAPI-owned brands, and post a video of your dish to the Community Tab in the Weee! mobile app for a chance to win up to $20 in Weee! Points! ๐Ÿ˜

๐Ÿ‘‰Enter here or click on the image to view our AAPI Month Community Eventโ€‹ Page!