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Annie Chun Continues To Shine In The Food And Beverage Industry

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, May 1-10, we’re taking a look back at successful founders who stopped by Lioness to share their wisdom and journeys.

We salute these amazing women, their innovation and hustle.

Annie Chun came to America from Seoul, Korea to further her education, but realized the traditional expectations of working for someone else was not fit for her. Having worked multiple jobs including her family’s restaurant, she stumbled upon inspiration from a farmer’s market in Marin County, Calif. There is where the idea to step into entrepreneurship was born and in the early 1990s, Chun began to sell bottles of homemade sauces to local consumers with less than $1,000 to start. Shortly after she started working for herself, she met her husband, Steve, and the two came together to tackle an area of the food market that was untouched at the time – all natural products.

With their eyes set on a new facet of the industry, Annie Chun’s became known as the company serving Asian-inspired dishes that were non-GMO, gluten-free and organic. 

Her first company, Annie Chun’s, was purchased by CJ Corp for $6.8 million in 2005, according to Food Nagivator USA. Chun is currently expanding her latest venture gimME, seaweed-based snacks.

Chun’s advice for women venturing into business: “Once you start, you have to stick to it. You can’t really do it halfway.”

To read our full profile on Chun, read on.