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Food filled week at Whole Foods Dedham and Mass Innovation Nights

Asulia had a busy week spreading the dumpling love.

Whole Foods Dedham
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On 2/11/14, we participated in Whole Foods Dedham’s Love You Locals event. We loved this event because 5% of all sales from the store that day went to Milton Public Schools. As always, 5% from Asulia sales go towards Room to Read, so we were supporting education double-time. I think our happy spot is next to the salad bar. We’re not complaining. We love being next to vegetables. Swoon.

It was great to see other local brands such as May Flower Brew, Harpoon Brewery, Nashoba Brook Bakery, Not Your Sugar Mamas, McCrea’s Candies, and more. Lots of great products all from New England!

Mass Innovation Nights
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Photo courtesy of Janet Egan

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Photo courtesy of Mass Innovation Nights

The next day, 2/12, our dumplings got toasty at Le Cordon Bleu as part of the Mass Innovation Nights Minfoodie 6 event sponsored by the Canadian Consulate of Boston. Food start ups everywhere! We had a blast chatting all things food startup while handing out samples of our vegan chickpea, kale, and taro root dumplings.  And bonus – we were one of top four audience favorites! We received an American Express gift card, so yay, payment towards a Zip Car to help us to our next event. Special thanks to Kristen and Bobbie Carlton for making the event possible. Startups in Boston are lucky to have friends like you! You ladies rock. Also, many thanks also to our wonderful volunteers who helped to make sure everything went smoothly!


Next, we’ll be in Lowell, MA on Tuesday, 2/18. Asulia’s been picked to showcase at the 2014 Merrimack Valley Sandbox Consumer Ideas Pitch event! We’d love to see you there. It’s free to attend.

Wondering where you can taste Asulia dumplings? See our events page.

Asulia at Le Cordon Bleu

Asulia blog Asulia at Le Cordon Bleu
On 2/12/14, Asulia will be at Le Cordon Bleu for Mass Innovation Night’s MINfoodie 6 event.  The four food startups with the most votes will also have a chance to present at the event. I’d appreciate your vote to be among the four to be able to share more with the attendees. Please cast your vote for Asulia Foods here from all your devices. Thank you!

Back in 2012, after I was laid off from my job, I seriously considered going to culinary school, since I love food and cooking. I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be going to Le Cordon Bleu in such a different way!

The Asulia team will be giving out free samples of our vegan chickpea, kale, and taro root dumplings. The MINfoodie 6 event is free and open to the public. Support local innovation! Please RSVP to the event so we can better prepare. The culinary school is graciously hosting the event along with Mass Innovation Nights and the Canadian Consulate is kindly sponsoring the evening.

Hope to see you at Le Cordon Bleu! You can find more events here. Join us on our food startup journey by subscribing to our e-news, like us on Facebook, follow along on Instagram,  Twitter, and Pinterest.


Demoing as a Whole Foods Vendor: From dream to reality

Asulia blog-demoing as a vendor at whole foods from dream to realtity WF dedham

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I packed up Asulia dumplings last Saturday (1/11/14) for our very first demo at Whole Foods (WF) with my mom. Every team needs a uniform, we wore wheat-colored sweaters, kale green aprons, and special name tags.

When you’re a vendor at WF, you need to bring everything with yourself and take everything with you when you leave, so it requires a lot of preparation.

The night before, I made a last minute run to find a skillet. After trying a few options, I recently got an induction cooktop for tasting events like these. They heat up in seconds, so they work really well for heating up our frozen dumplings. However, you need induction-friendly pots and pans. I thought my stainless steel skillet would work, but when I tried it out the night before, I realized it was a no go. So off I went in search of induction-friendly cookware. While other people were heading out for Friday night fun, I was heading to Marshalls! I had just an hour before they closed and found a great cast iron skillet, which is great at conducting heat.

On Saturday, we were up early. I saw that it was rainy and cloudy and wondered if that would keep people at home, but fortunately WF shoppers are not afraid of the rain and the Dedham store was packed.

First things first. Before setting up, we had to make sure that enough boxes of dumplings were on the shelf in the freezer case. Check.

Next, we got our table and display all set up, but our electricity kept cutting in and out. So, we loaded everything into a shopping cart and setup shop in our second location, dodging WF customers as we wheeled through the store. The electricity went in and out at our second location too! Finally, with the help of some really great team members at WF Dedham, we got hooked up to the power source at the hot bar and could resume heating up our chickpea, kale, and taro root dumplings.

We shared hundreds of dumpling samples nonstop for 3 hours, to all kinds of people, young and old. We were so busy that as soon as one batch was ready, another line was already forming. Our suggested and preferred way to heat up Asulia dumplings is in an oven, but we can’t seem to heat them up fast enough at tastings. This is why I switched to an induction cooktop. I love seeing people’s faces when they first taste our dumplings. Of course we talked about our mission, vegetables, and healthy eating, but we also talked about other things, what they were shopping for, families, holidays, the Patriots game,  personal stories, things going on in people’s lives. I find that food is a connector, and I love that. Afterwards, we were exhausted and ecstatic at the same time. My mom and I had a late lunch at WF and of course picked up a few items. It’s hard to leave WF empty handed!

For me, the experience was super surreal. It’s a true milestone for me. I’ve spent countless nights and weekends bootstrapping Asulia, taking it from a dream to reality. When I see Asulia boxes on the shelf at Whole Foods, I’m seeing my dreams of helping people eat healthier and helping to send more girls to school come true. I love my job!

Many thanks to the team at WF Dedham! We couldn’t have pulled it off without you.

Stay tuned for future events by signing up for our e-news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and check our events page. We look forward to eating dumplings together soon!

Find us at Formaggio Kitchen, South End Boston

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asulia-blog find us at formaggio kitchen south end boston

We’re feeling at home and have already had lots of good chats with the puff pastry dough next to us and the amazing pastas and ice creams ‘upstairs’ You can find Asulia’s chickpea and taro root dumplings in the freezer section at Formaggio Kitchen, South End Boston.

Formaggio created  the first cheese cave in the country. More than just artisan cheese, the store carries charcuterie and specialty food. They travel the world in search of the world’s finest artisan products. You can read their latest travel adventures in their Travelogue section. As noted from our friends at Formaggio’s website: “We believe in the one-herd farmer in Corsica, the tiny storefront baker in Tuscany and the fifth-generation olive grower in Andalusia, each striving to preserve their traditional methods in a world of mass-produced, industrial food. Our shelves are brimming with products made by individual artisans, each as wonderful as the next: honeys from Sardinia & Piedmont sit aside farmhouse jams from Pays Basque & l’Ardeche, while spicy organic tomato sauce from Liguria neighbors briny Brittany fleur de sel. Marble slabs support cuts of cheese artistically arranged each morning into a “wall”: a horizontal stretch running from Great Britain and North America, through France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, more than two hundred varieties in all.”

Thanks Sarah – one of our amazing volunteers!

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Sarah H. came to us via Linkedin when we were looking for an intern to help out with marketing. She was searching for the right place that aligned with her love of healthy eating and her values. Sarah has been a lifesaver, largely because she has over 10 years of marketing experience! Not your average intern, but a volunteer marketer. Her positive “go do” attitude is energizing.

I want to acknowledge her commitment to Asulia and her support of me. It’s meant so much that someone with such a breadth of experience was willing to get involved with a startup, where the needs are for more than just marketing. As we round out November, Sarah’s time with Asulia will end. After turkey day, you’ll find Sarah with our friends at Whole Foods teaching our community members how to cook healthy. We’ll miss her.

Asulia is always looking for mission minded interns and volunteers like Sarah. As we grow, I look forward to hiring part time and full time positions. If you’re curious about what’s it’s like at Asulia, here’s Sarah’s take in her own words. “Be ready to be inspired and make a difference when you work with Asulia Foods. You work closely with Sue Liang, the founder, the community, other volunteers, and the advisory board. It’s fast paced, rewarding, and never a dull moment! Asulia is in launch mode with endless opportunities to make a difference and develop new skills. Sue’s drive and leadership is propelling Asulia to reach early goals to bring success to the company. I love working with Sue and being a part of such an exciting and important time!’

To learn more about how to you can get involved with Asulia, please contact us here!

Sourcing locally-grown ingredients from MA Farmers

Eating more fruits and vegetables is not only good for your waistline, but also good for mother earth. The impact on the environment is lessened when we eat our greens.

Asulia supports Massachusetts farmers. We’re busy working to source as much locally-grown organic produce as possible for our handcrafted dumplings. Sourcing non-GMO is important too! We’re not currently certified, but can’t wait to revisit our conversation with the non-GMO Project when we can afford to be certified. Rates are the same regardless of if you’re a startup or a long standing huge food company. With this said, we fully support the efforts of the non-GMO Project and look forward to being certified soon!

Kale is especially resilient and hardy with the cold, so we can use local kale in our dumplings. Some ingredients such as taro root  and chickpeas are not available locally, since they grow in warm climates and prefer lots of sun. Hey, I don’t blame them, I could get used to the warmth too! Also, as we grow, I might change our offerings based on what produce available locally during the changing seasons.

Get Dumplings at Formaggio Kitchen, South End Boston

Great News!  Starting 11/20/13 11/19/13 Asulia dumplings will be available for sale in the freezer section at Boston’s Formaggio Kitchen South End!

We’re so excited – this is our first store!

Just in time for Thanksgiving, our dumplings make great appetizers to compliment your feast with friends and family. Pair with Comté, our favorite cheese at Formaggio, for a savory treat that will delight your guests.

We’re ecstatic that you will be able to buy our taro root and chickpea dumplings from one of Boston’s most beloved specialty food stores!

More store announcements to come soon.

Get Asulia Dumplings in Whole Foods Soon!

Great news! We recently got confirmation that Asulia’s new line of fusion dumplings will be carried in New England-area Whole Foods Market stores and specialty stores very soon. I love shopping at Whole Foods, so I’m ecstatic!

Once the details are worked out, I’ll announce the when and where you will be able to buy our dumplings. It might be as soon as – fingers crossed – Thanksgiving.

To hear the latest about our dumpling launch dates and store locations, sign up for our e-news! We only send the good stuff, news, deals, and reviews.