UCLA Anderson Startup KPOP Foods Gets Acquired By Korean Food Retailer

Molly Wright

Molly Wright is an intern for dot.LA. She previously edited the London School of Economics' student newspaper in the United Kingdom, interned for The Hollywood Reporter and was the blogging editor for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

KPop Foods
Image from KPopFoods.com
Food brand KPOP Foods, which was founded by two UCLA business school friends looking to spread their love of Korean food and culture, has been acquired by Korean foods retailer Wooltari USA.

The startup, which emerged from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wooltari USA and will leverage the retailer’s capabilities to expand its sourcing, product development and distribution, the companies said on Tuesday. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The purveyor of sauces, snacks and spices launched in 2017 through Kickstarter, where it raised nearly $40,000 to produce the brand’s eponymous KPOP Sauce. KPOP Foods grew its reach substantially after adding celebrity chef and Food Network star Chris Oh to its executive roster as head of product, with its food offerings—which include a kimchi mayo sauce, Korean potato chips and yuja tea—having reached up to 3,000 retailers nationwide.

Los Angeles-based Wooltari USA is well-established in the Korean food scene; it has partnerships with hundreds of Korean food manufacturers and operates six brick-and-mortar grocery stores locations in California, Texas and Virginia. Wooltari USA also offers one-day delivery in major cities and one-to-three-day shipping across the U.S.

"We share a common vision, and our teams possess expertise and knowledge in complementary areas,” KPOP Foods co-founder and CEO Theo Lee said in a statement. “Together, we're excited to influence the future of Korean food in the US."

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

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Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

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Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

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