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Mesa grandmotherís Korean-inspired sauces to be sold at Walmart (Made in USA)
KTAR-FM ^ | June 24, 2018 | Griselda Zetino

Posted on 06/24/2018 1:33:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

PHOENIX — Korean-inspired cooking sauces made by a Mesa grandmother will soon be on Walmart shelves.

Kay Weldon cooked up the first sauce in the 1990s when she owned a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A favorite among customers was her chicken wings because of her sauce. She started out serving the chicken wings as part of a Friday lunch special.

“It was sweet, tangy and spicy,” she said. “It was a big hit. My lunch line was 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. nonstop on Fridays.”

Ten years later, she sold the restaurant, got married and moved to Arizona with her family.

But she never stopped making the sauce. She made chicken wings smothered with her special sauce for friends and family.

“They all said, ‘You gotta open a restaurant. You gotta do something,’” she said. “‘The chicken wings are really, really good. Nobody has that kind of sauce.’”

For years, Weldon worked as a blackjack dealer at a local casino, but she never stopped thinking about starting her own business. She finally decided to go for it in 2009 when she started selling her sauces.

“At first, I thought it was an unreachable dream,” she said.

She rebranded her company in 2016 with a new name and more sauce flavors. Her company is called Ahssa Foods, which means “awesome” in Korean slang. Her big break came earlier this month when she pitched her product at Walmart’s annual Open Call event.

“They loved my sauce,” she said. “I even made chicken wings and Korean ribs so they could taste it, and they loved it.”

Weldon had already pitched her product to Walmart last year but wasn’t chosen. Instead, she was given advice on what changes to make and encouraged to re-apply. She added a “Made in USA” label and redesigned the label.

After she made the changes, she met the qualifications and Walmart agreed to start selling three of her seven sauce flavors: Korean Sweet and Tangy, Korean Hot and Spicy, Korean BBQ. Starting in September, the sauces will be on shelves at hundreds of Walmart stores in the western part of the U.S.

Weldon said having Walmart sell her sauces is an “American Dream come true.” She came to the U.S. from South Korea in 1973 and had to overcome language, financial and education barriers to get where she is today.

But she didn’t do it alone.

She credits her son and daughter for helping her launch her business and said her 9-year-old grandson designed the logo.

“I want to teach my kids and my grandkids that if you believe in yourself or you have a passion, don’t give up and go for it,” she said. “Someday somebody is going to recognize you, like a giant retailer like Walmart.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Food
KEYWORDS: food; korean; retail; walmart
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The American dream.
1 posted on 06/24/2018 1:33:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They are already on Trader Joe’s shelves and other places. Good stuff!


2 posted on 06/24/2018 1:33:43 PM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Amazing what someone with enough gumption to get here legally can do once here.


3 posted on 06/24/2018 1:38:33 PM PDT by null and void (Social justice warriors, killing the trees that produce the fruits of liberty.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

4 posted on 06/24/2018 1:39:32 PM PDT by null and void (Social justice warriors, killing the trees that produce the fruits of liberty.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hey selfish granny, you didn’t make that by yourself. You better spread the wealth around.


5 posted on 06/24/2018 1:58:06 PM PDT by Sedona13
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Get in the kitchen and make me some Kim Bap Missy!


6 posted on 06/24/2018 2:02:59 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

On our Walmart list to buy. Will try it with our charcoal cooked chicken.


7 posted on 06/24/2018 2:09:16 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Illegals have 2 governments helping them! Our govt subsidizing them & Mexico's meddling for them!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hope she doesn’t succeed like the pickles did at WalMart.

https://www.fastcompany.com/47593/wal-mart-you-dont-know


8 posted on 06/24/2018 2:17:08 PM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

One of our favorite utube channels:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Maangchi


9 posted on 06/24/2018 2:20:13 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: T-Bird45

A 15 year old article? How about something on how Sears & Roebuck mistreated their workers in the 19th Century?


10 posted on 06/24/2018 2:20:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Libs will protest she isnt korean.


11 posted on 06/24/2018 2:25:53 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: null and void

The story of David Tran is an inspiring one:

https://nextshark.com/sriracha-hot-sauce-david-tran-vietnamese/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sriracha_sauce_(Huy_Fong_Foods)#History


12 posted on 06/24/2018 2:26:50 PM PDT by Jamestown1630 ("A Republic, if you can keep it.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I've been married to my Korean wife for over 30 years, and she makes the best wings I've had. She fries them and dips them in vinegar before applying her sauce.

I will have to try these products when my wife is not around!

13 posted on 06/24/2018 2:30:45 PM PDT by Jumper
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

And you think WMT has changed their business plan significantly in those intervening years??? Let me send you my flier on a bridge I’m selling...


14 posted on 06/24/2018 2:44:32 PM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Jamestown1630

Love Huy Fong!


15 posted on 06/24/2018 2:48:58 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Jamestown1630
"Today he keeps his hot sauce empire as a family owned business. His son serves as the company’s president and daughter as vice president. Tran explained that the people who want to buy his company are never interested in the product, only the profits. "

Smart guy...

16 posted on 06/24/2018 2:51:16 PM PDT by null and void (Social justice warriors, killing the trees that produce the fruits of liberty.)
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To: null and void; mylife

There’s a great documentary movie about Tran and the company:

http://srirachamovie.com


17 posted on 06/24/2018 3:01:42 PM PDT by Jamestown1630 ("A Republic, if you can keep it.")
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To: T-Bird45

Vlassic sucks.

Heinz pickles are SO much better. Can’t see how they lost their original market.


18 posted on 06/24/2018 3:47:45 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Federal-run medical care is as good as state-run DMVs.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

All pickles suck.


19 posted on 06/24/2018 4:29:57 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: SoCal Pubbie

Dill pickles DO suck, IMHO. But “Bread and Butter” variety are delicious.


20 posted on 06/24/2018 5:02:37 PM PDT by Tucker39 ("It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible." George Washington)
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