You never have to leave your house again. Umamicart delivers your favorite Asian groceries to your home. Umamicart founder Andrea grew up in a household where the love language was homemade food. Born and raised in Spain to Chinese immigrant parents, she remembers how special dishes would prompt her parents to share stories of their childhood in China. Food has always been an outlet for Andrea to celebrate, connect to, and express her identity. Thanks to Umamicart, it's now easier than ever to recreate dishes from our own childhoods and create new recipes inspired by diverse Asian ingredients. Read our interview with Andrea and check out her top 3 picks from Umamicart.
Why did you launch Umamicart during the pandemic?
The pandemic created a demand from the food suppliers and the consumers. The majority of the Asian food suppliers we work with don’t have an online channel to reach consumers so they were negatively impacted by the massive increase in online grocery shopping. For consumers, it's been difficult to buy everything we need online. And it's been especially difficult to buy Asian groceries. My personal experience with this pain point was definitely a driver to building Umamicart.
What's been the biggest challenge to launching Umamicart?
When I approached FJ Labs with my idea for Umamicart, I had some higher hurdles to jump because most people in the firm were not Asian and could not relate to the problem of searching for Asian ingredients. It took a ton of research to show that there is a huge market opportunity and this is not a “niche” problem. I think people don't realize that the Asian American population is actually one of the fastest growing in the US. I am so happy to see Asian culture getting more recognized and celebrated by non-Asians as well.
What does the future hold for Umamicart?
In the coming months, we’re looking forward to increasing our catalog of East Asian and Southeast Asian products. Our catalog will continue to grow and evolve, just as Asian American food culture does. We plan to add hundreds of more products in the near future with the goal of allowing our customers to find every grocery item they need for their Asian cuisine journey. We still have so much more that we are planning and looking forward to adding, and we welcome product and ingredient requests!
What are your top 3 favorites on Umamicart?
Oh man, definitely my personal favorite. We proudly source our sashimi-grade fish from a purveyor that supplies fish to some of the best sushi restaurants in New York City. It has been so fun doing DIY sushi nights with my husband, although we can definitely use more practice making nigiri!
Crave is an awesome, female-founded brand that combines modern nutrition science with Asian-inspired recipes. I honestly look forward to eating their oatmeals for breakfast, which come in flavors like Black Sesame (my favorite!), Taro Black Tea, and Adzuki Bean.
My favorite vegetable that is not easy to find! Chinese cauliflower has longer, thinner stems and more florets, and I love using them in stir-fries, soups, and stews.
What are your go to restaurants in NYC?
This is tough - there are so many restaurants that I love! Noodle Village in Chinatown has the most delicious wontons I’ve found in NY, an amazing, warm staff, and reminds me of the wonton noodles I love from Hong Kong. And TabeTomo in the East Village has these heaping ramen bowls that really hit the spot! I love their unique, extra thick and chewy noodles - almost like udon - that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
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