Happy International Women's Day, and we are celebrating the women all over the world who pursue the bold path of dedicating their energy, talents and passion to making the world a better place. We are so grateful for our wonderful female founder, Annie Chun, and her inspiring journey.
Annie was born and raised in central Seoul, where her culinarily-gifted mother often served the family fish and seaweed dishes. As a young adult, Annie came to California, where she worked in her family’s top-rated Korean restaurant in San Francisco.
In 1991, Annie started making homemade sauces, selling them at local farmer’s markets. Soon her husband, Steve Broad, joined her to help with their fast-growing business. Annie’s focus was on bringing a unique culinary style to Asian food in America, while Steve had the idea to make the products natural. Together they grew one of the leading natural/organic Asian brands in the USA, eventually selling the Annie Chun’s brand to CJ Corp of Korea in 2009.
But what next? In 2011, Steve encouraged Annie to lay out her vision of bringing Korean food to mainstream America, starting with seaweed. Wanting to do something new, and having had created seaweed products for Annie Chun’s, Annie had the idea to produce certifiably-USDA organic Korean seaweed. Through many challenges, Annie persevered, and gimMe became the first USDA Organic Certified, Non-GMO verified seaweed in the world. Today the national U.S. market is led by organic seaweed, a huge tribute to Annie’s pioneering work.
Annie is also very grateful that children, from toddlers to college age, all love seaweed! Her focus on quality and bringing mainstream flavors to the seaweed category have made Gimme the leading brand in the U.S. And the fact that seaweed is not only the most nutrition dense vegetable on the planet, but also one of the most sustainable foods makes seaweed a perfect superfood for our future.
Please take some time to enjoy celebrating all the wonderful women in your life!