K-Mama Sauce, LLC
Ever since kindergarten, I knew I had a knack for business. I excelled at trading sports cards with my friends and eventually obtained not one, but two Michael Jordan rookie-of-the-year cards. I fondly look back at this time as an introduction to my understanding of how to do business, and aspired to work at a reputable marketing and advertising firm in New York City as a leading partner. However, I saw many friends obtain such careers and lack purpose in continuing to work in their field.
Running K-Mama Sauce for the past two years I have learned a tremendous amount about myself: leadership, self-esteem, and interpersonal skills (relationships). Whether it be this business or another in the future, I will continue to grow in my understanding of myself to better lead my staff and company.
I hope to grow into a socially-conscious business like Toms, Warby Parker, or Newman’s Own. Whether I stay in the food industry or enter into various sectors like technology, or commercial real estate, I hope to always build socially minded businesses.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Having grown up on my mother’s homemade Korean cooking, I realized how hard it was to find quality Korean food and sauces after I moved to Minnesota. After 90 variations, I am proud to present K-Mama Sauce. Initially sweet with a rich and buttery middle and a spicy burn at the end, K-Mama Sauce adds an authentic, delicious kick to appetizers, salads, soups, and entrees of any style.
I found my way to Church of All Nations in Minnesota after graduating from seminary. After completing an internship with the church, I began to realize that for me, church should directly impact one’s understanding of the economy. With my passion for social enterprises, with a social mission, I was also able to get experience in government work prior to starting a business. This is the primary reason I began K-Mama Sauce, to make an impact in my community’s life and to be able to give back abundantly by giving 30% of profits to charities.
Though we initially targeted head-of-household cooks in the suburbs, hipster foodies, and Millennial professionals, we are seeing our customers be of all ages, ethnicities, and food tastes. We also would love to have our sauce being sold to restaurants across the country both for front-of-house (table tops) and back-of-house (chefs) use. Anyone who enjoys adding flavor and a bit of spice to their life is our customer.
Though we’ve only been in business since March 2015, we have sold over 10,000 bottles. Most recently, we have talked to grocery chains in MN and in the Midwest region. Having entered into five local grocery stores, five restaurants, and over nine farmers markets, we are now starting to find traction with regional and national festivals/events.
What is the purpose of this loan?
We are currently scaling up our manufacturing. Because of this, we are in need of transitioning to a copacker. For us to do this, we would need to order all of our Cost Of Goods Sold in bulk. The grant will go directly to purchasing bottles, ingredients, and labels.
With a growing customer base, we are starting penetrate into retail outlets, and more distribution channels like food reps and food services. With the loan, the capital would allow us to scale and focus on reaching our break-even point quicker. This would then be a catalyst to hire our first employees. With intern and volunteer help, our operations and my management of the business has grown beyond the work that I can do.
My goal is to learn as much as possible growing a business, going from start-up to small/mid-size business. The loan would help me focus on bigger picture workshops, management courses and seminars, so that I may lead our future staff better.
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years