If you haven't already shopped Omsom on both Build a BOXFOX and BOXFOX Marketplace: we're here to tell you that this is a product you won't want to miss.
Give your favorite foodie friend our favorite new find, Omsom. They (or you!) can cook restaurant-quality dishes in under 30 minutes with these bold, flavorful dish starters - exactly what they need to level up in the kitchen. Read our interview with Kim below!
1. Tell us about Omsom, what inspired you to start the company?
“Hi there, I’m Kim, I’m one of the co-founders and sisters behind Omsom. A proud and loud Asian food brand. We were inspired to start the business because growing up as first generation Vietnamese Americans and daughters of refugees, Vanessa and I didn’t feel represented by this quote on quote ‘ethnic aisle’ that you find in mainstream grocery stores. We really wanted to start a business that would reclaim and celebrate the multitudes to be found in Asian cuisine and communities.”
2. Where did the name Omsom come from?
“The company named Omsom is actually rooted in the Vietnamese phrase ‘om sòm’ which roughly translates to like rowdy or rambunctious. It’s actually a negative term, our parents would chastise with this growing up. We just love the idea of reclaiming something that was initially seen as bad and celebrating kind of what makes us proud and loud.”
3. What’s your ultimate goal and mission?
“Our mission as a brand is really to celebrate the multitudes in Asian cuisine and communities and culture. You know that are so often diluted and compromised, especially in that kind of ‘ethnic aisle’. That’s really what we exist to do.”
4. Describe your first major victory at Omsom.
“Our first major victory is probably the fact that we launched right in the middle of the pandemic in May of 2020. Actually, a ton of our advisors told us to hold off but Vanessa and I really had conviction that with folks rediscovering the joy of cooking at home and people really needing some more delight in their kitchen and in their pantry that it was a good time for us to launch and we are really glad that we did.”
5. What has been your biggest challenge in building this business?
“One of our biggest challenges, especially in the beginning is just even finding folks who wanted to work with us and understood that the world that we see is centered around an asian american audience. I think for many folks underestimated, one the power of asian american audiences but also two, the larger interest of asian stories and flavors and so it was really in the beginning tough for Vanessa and I to try and tell that story, when folks just weren’t listening.”
6. What is your advice to anyone starting on their own entrepreneurial journey?
“My advice if you're starting an entrepreneurial journey is the same that I think I got and that was super helpful for me but it's “ to have conviction in who you are and how you see the world”. I think for a long time I was trying to constantly kind of shift my thinking and our product line and then I kind of realized that at the end of the day, Vanessa and I know our community best and we know our products best and so just really having trust in your gut.”
7. What are some of your favorite brands to follow along with?
“In terms of other brands that I love, I can go on forever. In food and bev, I love Nguyen Coffee Supply, I’m obsessed with everything that Diaspora does. And I really really admire the folks behind Boon Sauce, I think they do such a great job. I actually learn a ton from indie fashion brands, they actually taught me a lot about building brand and so off the top of my head, I love Namilia (@_namilia_) their a Berlin based fashion brand as well as Noctex (@noctex) also women run.
8. What’s next for Omsom?
“So there is lots happening in the Omsom universe, we actually just dropped a collaboration with Disney celebrating the first southeast Asian disney princess, so it’s a limited edition sampler celebrating Raya and the Last Dragon, and also later in the Spring we are dropping a starter with Pepper Teigen herself. Yes, Chrissy Teigen’s mom and that will be a secret Teigen family recipe. Follow along, you can find us at @omsom on Instagram, so I’ll see you there.”