Scaling Meals crafted by Emerging Chefs


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Show Overview:

The host sit down with Noobtsaa Philip Vang, Founder and CEO of Foodhini – an online restaurant that serves authentic multicultural meals, handcrafted by emerging immigrants chefs, and Elaine Chon-Baker, Founder and Managing Director of Mokja Ventures – a hospitality venture fund focused on investing in innovative restaurant concepts and operators. In this episode, they discuss the intricacies of the food industry and tips for success in this highly competitive and transient market.

About GFGF:

The Get Found Get Funded podcast is at the intersection of entrepreneurship and social justice where we focus on entrepreneurship as a possible path to wealth creation — specifically for Black and Latinx communities.

Featured Guest(s): Noobtsaa Philip Vang & Elaine Chon-Baker

  • About Noobtsaa Philip Vang:
    • Growing up as a Hmong American, he grew to appreciate his culture’s cuisine, while at the same time seeing the barriers to sustainable income generation for his community as immigrants. Noobtsaa recognized that many immigrant communities face this challenge, and in the summer of 2015, he founded Foodhini.
    • Founder and CEO of Foodhini
    • LinkedIn
  • About Elaine Chon-Baker:
    • Elaine Chon-Baker is a Northern Virginia investor who has helped bring several restaurants to fruition and now takes local food funding to the next level with a venture capital fund to seed restaurant projects.
    • Founder and Managing Director of Mokja Ventures
    • LinkedIn

Key Takeaways: 

  • Sometimes if you don’t look for investors you won’t grow. Raising money and selling equity is the key to growth. 
  • Listen, analyze and then react. When another person’s money is involved it’s important to be open to the said person’s concerns.   
  • Investors want to see big picture thinking; planning for the future and social impacts that can be made with your brand.     
  • Being willing to fight through all the pain and the problems then you’re not going to be successful.


  • 00:59 Intro
  • 03:20 Evolution of Foodhini
  • 07:33    Delivery Service Decision and Online Model  
  • 11:19 Funding Journey
  • 17:10 Utilizing Your Network and Marketing
  • 24:49 Growth and Strategy/Partnership Changes
  • 28:21 Foodhini’s Unique Model 
  • 31:04 Investing in the Food Industry
  • 35:48 Food Industry and Scaling
  • 57:54 Challenges and Self-Care
  • 1:09:36 Outro

Items Mentioned in the Show:

Quotes from the Show:

  • “There's already a huge population of people that already know how to make this food better than anybody else. Let's give them a place to be successful, to grow, help them earn a good living, make money, share their food and their culture with everybody” (Noobtsaa)
  • “We use the online model because that way we are actually able to bring on more chefs, bring on more people, have a larger impact on the community.” (Noobstaa)
  • “Once you start thinking about fundraising, you have to think long term. You have to think strategically.” (Noobtsaa)
  • “You don't realize how transient the food industry is until you're in it.” (Noobtsaa)
  • “But I think what has really changed is Foodhini is about creating economic mobility” (Noobtsaa)
  • “In order to stay relevant past year one, you have to keep innovating or you have to actually have built a loyal customer base in that first year.” (Elaine)
  • “You are the reflection of your company's culture.” (Noobstaa)
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