Archive / Behind the Scenes

Dumpling Fillings and Fears

Last night I was in my mom’s kitchen to test three different kinds of vegetarian dumpling fillings: kale, taro root with toasted sesame seeds, and curry cauliflower with toasted pepitas, a new recipe idea I developed.

When all the dishes were washed, my mom and I sat down and chatted. Over the years she’s been slowly revealing more of her past, most of which I’ve never heard before.  After she was abandoned in China, she would spend nights walking the streets because she had nowhere to sleep. Fearing something bad would happen, she kept moving because she felt that if she was at least on the move, it would be harder for others to harm her. She encountered challenging situations through the years to say the least.

During my commute to meet a buyer at a store this morning, I reflected on what my mom had told me the night before and was over come with emotion. So many things had to happen in order for me to be here today.

Staying with friends and having my stuff around town makes me feel extremely unsettled. I view this as another day of opportunity to turn things around, not only for myself, but also for the girls that need me. I’ve never wanted to succeed at something so much before. I want to bring hope to girls and know it’s one of my life’s mission. I would love for my mom to still be around to see the impact she’s made not just for me, but in how it’ll be paying it forward.

We have to overcome our own self doubts, fears, and take a risk.


It’s been a few months since I started working on this food start-up. At first I was thinking I would make my mom’s traditional dumplings and sell them at farmers markets. I couldn’t find the right commercial kitchen with USDA approval. I ditched the idea and set out to create something different that would meet today’s taste buds. Deciding to go veggie and using nutrient dense ingredients made sense. People don’t get enough veggies in their diet.

I’m learning what it really takes to make a living selling food. I have a new found appreciation for retail pricing!

I often ask myself, “what’s it really like to be an entrepreneur?” The reality is that I’m living it. If this works out and even if it doesn’t, I’m learning a great deal about my relationships with friends both new and old and myself.

My belongings are temporary being hosted by different friends in the city. Instability and downsizing is part of the process as a start-up. I can understand more than ever, how people end up homeless. If I didn’t have some sort of community I’d be on the streets! Thanks to all my friend out there!

On days that I’m making headways and days it feels insurmountable, I think about how fortunate I am. I have the opportunity to share my love of food, ongoing issues that are still impacting girls, and  give back to those around the world still fighting for basic rights.