Young Chang is a 18 year veteran of working in Fortune 500 companies such as Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., and IBM. With a bachelors degree in Information and Computer Science and Masters in Business Administration from USC’s Marshall School of Business, he decided to make a total career change and become a founder of an International food manufacturing and distribution company. Having thrived in the business for the past 6 years, the focus remains to change the world and make a lasting impact on humankind through food.
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John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast I’m so excited to have you with us today. Young Chang, he’s the president and CEO, and founder of A-Sha Foods. And A-Sha Foods makes these great noodles here, which I’ve already, of course, opened the bag and many, many of these samples, A-Sha noodles, and many other products. Welcome today to the impact podcast. Young, how are you today?
Young: I’m well, John, thank you so much for having me.
John: You know you’re in Los Angeles. Today I’m in Fresno, California. The pandemic, unfortunately still grinds on. But we get to be together and share a little bit of your great background and your entrepreneurial journey. Before we get talking, though, about your great noodles. And what you’ve created here, which I’m a huge fan already of. Can you share a little bit of your background where you grew up? Where did you go to school and where did you work before you decided to take the entrepreneurial jump?
Young: Sure, sure. So yeah, I was born actually in Minneapolis, Minnesota. So, homegrown Product of the USA. My parents were immigrants from Taiwan. They came over during grad school, a typical American Journey to come here, get an education, and stayed here, had a family. So for the better part of my first 12 years, I grew up in the Midwest, in Minnesota, in Rochester specifically.
John: Why did mom and dad choose Rochester? It’s always fascinating given that I’m an immigrant to you or me an immigrant. I’m the third generation. Well, why did your parents when they came over choose Minneapolis?
Young: Yeah. So my parents came over, they went to grad school at actually University of Wisconsin at Madison. So they were kind of in that area. After that, they got a job at IBM. So within Rochester, it’s kind of like Mayo Clinic and IBM, those were the two big, big companies and big operations out there. So they were long. Both of them are longtime IBM employees. So started out and started out in Rochester and then ended up transferring over to the Bay Area to Silicon Valley. So when I was 12, that’s when we kind of made the move out west in the Bay Area, went to high school, middle school there. And then UC Irvine, beautiful Irvine accepted me as an undergrad student. So I went there…
John: The anteaters.
Young: That’s right. So I went to UC Irvine as a computer science major graduated there began my career and then say to go back to business school, joined the USC Marshall School of Business, and became a proud Trojan.
John: So you left your parent’s legacy of being great badgers behind, the anteaters behind and you finally made it over to the Trojans.
Young: That’s right.
John: As many people know, my wife’s a Trojan, my business partners are Trojan. So there’s a huge Trojan contingency here at impact in it. And our company, so that’s great. And you got you you got your business degree over there. And we’re going to work after USC.
Young: Yeah. So I mean, during the time, after my undergrad, I actually started in the tech industry, right back then it was, the year 2000. Tech was booming. So I did my rounds through Cisco, IBM, PwC, as a consultant, ended up joining the Walt Disney Company, working on their SAP systems. And then from that point, I decided that “Hey, I wasn’t the best programmer in the world.” And quite frankly, I was much better at a meeting and talking to people and kind of connecting things and managing projects. So I decided at that point to go back to school and get my MBA. I did my MBA with a focus on marketing and corporate finance. So after that whole experience of the MBA, I ended up leaving Walt Disney Company, I joined Warner Music, and then there on after that, I went and joined Warner Bros. Studios, so all in the Burbank, center of the media, media capital, all that area. So I did my rounds for about 18 years, kind of doing the corporate thing and earning my stripes there.
John: When was that moment during those 18 years, when during that journey, which all, by the way, I mean, you couldn’t work for three or four greater brands, I mean, IBM Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, all amazing and iconic brands. When did you start thinking or dreaming about one day becoming an entrepreneur?
Young: I mean, for myself, as you mentioned, John, like, those companies were fantastic companies, I learned so much there. And I think, setting myself up to run my own business and kind of branch out and do my own thing. A lot of that came from there. I mean, I draw from those experiences so much. But throughout the journey of kind of working corporate, I make kept thinking to myself, all these companies are great, but at that highest of high levels at the sea level, every company’s got like four, right? You got your CEO, CFO, CIO, etc. I was like, for myself, it was just a numbers game for me to get to that level, a lot of things need to align for that to happen, versus maybe coming out doing my own thing, I’m kind of there from the beginning. But again, I have all the risk, and I have all the pressure, but I’ve got all the rewards as well. So that seed was always kind of in my head, and I guess I just kept, I just kept learning and kept leveraging my superiors and learning from the companies that I was working for. And when the right opportunity presented itself, I was ready to make the jump. So I kind of stumbled into it.
John: So, there are so many things, given your unbelievably impressive education, all great schools, and also your work experience. I’m sure you saw so many different industries that you considered that you could go and disrupt or go and become a part of and become an entrepreneur and why noodles. Why did you decide to start A-Sha Foods? And what was the aha moment without trying to be cute for our shop?
Young: Yeah, I mean, I always say like, I feel like noodles chose me versus I chose noodles. So okay, what happened was, so I have a brother in law of mine who’s kind of like a mentor. He’s a very successful businessman in Taiwan. And he’s done a lot of different business ventures primarily in retail, he owns shopping malls, real estate, that kind of thing. He decided he wanted to get into the food business, there was a company called Asha foods, which was a legacy brand in Taiwan since 1977. It’s been around and had run into some problems in terms of product quality, there were some issues, some recall issues within Taiwan. So long story short, that company, which was very iconic in Taiwan was about to go under. So my brother-in-law actually went in invested in the company, and kind of saved the company from going under, because he didn’t want to see a very traditional legacy brand from Taiwan go under. So he kind of went in financially, made the right investments to be able to recover. And as he started putting more and more time and money into this business, he started realizing that, “Hey, there’s something here with this product.” And what we make is actually not something that’s very earth-shattering. It’s very traditional. The recipe that we use for our hero item is 100 years old. It’s a recipe that’s always been around. But it’s something that was never brought to the Western market, it was always kind of in Chinese culture, in Taiwanese culture.
So he saw this noodle and then, I would go back to visit family, do the kind of holiday thing. And he would always have me come over and say, try this noodle-like, what do you think? Do you think we can sell in the US all this stuff? And I was like, “I’m not sure about it. Nobody in the US because I grew up here. I’ve never seen something like this before.” But as I learned more about the product, how it is air-dried, not fried, you get a better you get less fat content, no MSG, no preservatives, no artificial flavors, like it’s, it’s like flour, salt, water, soy sauce, sesame oil. That’s it. That’s really what we built our business on those five ingredients. And it was there all along. All we had to do was bring it over. And I think where the magic happens was we had a great product. And it’s something that the, I’ll just say the American market was looking for, which is a high protein, low fat, natural ingredients. But we had to repackage it and present it in a format where it’s more acceptable for different cultures because coming over from Taiwan, it was all in Chinese. Nobody could read it. They didn’t even know all the benefits of this product.
John: Okay, so let’s step back here. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Young: Biologically, I’ve got an older sister and I got a younger brother. Through my marriage, I have a brother in law sister in law, about four or five.
John: So is this your brother-in-law through marriage or through your biological siblings?
Young: Through marriage.
John: Through marriage, okay, so this is your brother-in-law. He lives in Taipei in Taiwan, or he lives in America.
Young: No, he lives in Taipei.
John: He lives there. Now he invests. And now he shows you this. When does that discussion start happening, like maybe you should be running this?
Young: Yeah. So I would say took over the course of probably two, three years. And then finally, he just kind of said, “Look, you just have to try it.” So bring something over, sell it online, sell it on Amazon, do whatever you do in your techie world, right? I did that. I brought it over, listed it on Amazon, sold it on a website, sold it out. “Okay, so order some more.” Listed online, sold out again. And then it’s like, “Okay, bring in more and more.” And I think after about two and a half years of doing this, we kind of were like, “What are we doing?” Like, I’m working nine to five this business that’s after 5 pm continues to grow. Why not focus and go all-in on this? So back in 2015, we made the decision we’re like, “Let’s incorporate this, let’s create A-Sha Foods USA. And let’s do this right, and let’s bring in products. Let’s build a team. Let’s get marketing branding.”
John: Visualize it, you’re gonna present you’re gonna make a real business of it. A-Sha Foods in Taiwan, how big is that an order of magnitude over there?
Young: Well, in our world, in our noodle space, we’re definitely one of the top three. When it comes to dry noodles, we’re number one. So the other kind of deep fry those types of varieties. They’re still there. But in our category, yeah, we’re definitely number one. So anyone from Taiwan that’s living in the States or living in Australia, or living anywhere else, where we distribute every time when they see the A-Sha brand, it’s like a letter from home. They feel like right, something authentic is there.
John: What a great thing you and your brother-in-law, get to literally take over an iconic brand from Taiwan, and bring a taste of Taiwan home here to America to the Asian American community here.
Young: Absolutely. I would only equate to something like a hostess. Right? So if you went to France, and you saw a Twinkie, that’s something from the US.
John: Or frankly, the truth is, it’s like what Americans feel like when they go to any country now in the world, and there’s a Starbucks or McDonald’s.
Young: There you go. Yeah.
John: Same thing. It’s a comfort brand. That’s right. You feel safe. You feel like, “Ah, this is a taste of home here.” That’s amazing. So now, when did you launch Asha USA with your brother long the United States?
Young: That was 2015.
John: 2015. So now explain what the game plan was then? And how did it play out the last seven years? Like the game is always a game plan. And there’s always how it goes. And typically, there’s somewhat different than then how you usually startup?
Young: That’s right. That’s right. So, as I mentioned, we always felt that we had a good product. But the thing that we felt that was different from us and other noodle manufacturers was that both I and my brother-in-law, which was kind of like the brain trust of this company, both of us were not from the food industry. So right when we came into the food industry, everything that we did was different, like, the way we looked at our products, the way we looked at our branding was completely different. So we felt like That was our biggest strength that everything– because the food business, in many ways is very traditional, very, very legacy base. And, there’s a certain way things are done. But the way we came in was totally different. I mean, with our collaborations with like, Hello Kitty, BT21, Momofuku, we do all these different collabs. I mean, normal noodle companies are not really doing these kinds of things, because we’re trying to actually create a brand more so than create noodles.
John: Well, it’s not only that, that’s makes so much sense. But you also weren’t constrained by any legacy notions of the food industry. Since you both weren’t food executives. You’re a business person.
Young: 100% Yeah, that’s right.
John: It’s so exciting. And let me just say something couple of things I want to do. You say whenever I try someone who’s coming on impacts food, I always share it with my granddaughter Colette, who’s 19 months old. This she saw this in my pantry. You were kind enough to send me a few of these samples. And she was immediately drawn to this design. And then I cooked some of this up for her. And she loved it now 19-month-old children, they don’t have biases, they don’t have any, you know, they don’t know what’s going on in terms of you’re coming on the show or anything. She just knows if it tastes good or not. And she just loved it. She loved your product. Not only that, I love it, but she loved it. To me, that’s a true taste test. So I’m telling you, you’re onto something big here. And these, and the way you’ve co-branded these cups, and then the taste of these noodles that with the dressing, just literally incredible.
Young: Thank you so much.
John: Yeah, really. So how many product lines have you developed in the last seven years? And how are things going?
Young: Yeah, so we kind of came in with the base dry noodle, which is the clear one that you just held up, that was our base one that we started with. Since that time, we must have released about 15 or 20 different items. And I mean, the market is always changing. And for us, it’s like the noodle, the base noodle, the same quality, the same principles that we stand for, we always incorporate new products, but we always look for ways to tap into new markets and tap into new audiences. Because a lot of times, I feel like, food may be foreign to someone, but with the right packaging with the right wording, it can kind of make things less intimidating, and for them to be willing to give it a try. And I think, for the most part, everyone that’s tried our noodle, has liked it because it’s very neutral. I mean, even the flavors that we pick, we didn’t bring in the most aggressive Taiwanese flavors, we pick the ones that were almost universally accepted. And luckily for our company, they had me who is a very Americanized palette. So I kind of know what is acceptable and what works. And versus now we’re trying to bring in some of the Wilder flavors and some things that are even more exotic to this market.
John: Right, right. Are the two trends, tell me if these two trends are the wind at your back in helping you? Obviously, Asia has been a big mystery to Americans, for time immemorial, still is, most Americans, a small amount of Americans have passports to start with only 39 to 40%. And most of those Americans have only been to Canada, Mexico or South America or Europe, very few have been to Asia. So one, there’s been a huge influx of Asian food to America and this and this new sort of like opening up of this jewel box of delicious tastes that come from Asia. Plus, there’s also the huge plant-based eating movement that’s been going on for the last 8 or 10 years, lead by impossible and Beyond Meat and just eggs and all those other great brands. Are those two macro trends, great wind at your back as you continue to build this brand?
Young: Yeah, 100%. I think the timing is always very critical, especially in business. And I think, in recent years, as China has opened up more Chinese immigrants are coming to the States or overseas students, there’s more exposure. And I mean, I think it’s very consistent when we talk to any of our buyers, the largest growing category within all of their retail channels is the Asian category. So they are all trying to double triple down on Asian products. Because to your point, there is this curiosity about Asia, I think the consensus out there is that ages kind of this mysterious thing, but there has been some exposure to food and the food, I think, it’s been kind of training wheels, but it’s good, right? So I think as people are exploring more and more when you talk about beyond Panda Express right into the Romans into the Vietnamese first, there’s more to explore, I think the food has a lot to offer. And something that’s very interesting, which kind of coincides. Two points are that Asian culture is heavily Buddhist, and there’s a very vegan and vegetarian religion, right. So a lot of the food products naturally, inherently are vegan vegetarian. So I think Asia can bring a lot of those types of foods over.
John: I’m going to tell you, I’ve been a vegetarian, as most of my listeners and viewers know, 40 something years that a be plant-based, plant-based eating person for 14 or 15 years, I ate your noodles, they are so clean and so, so delicious. At the same time, I was shocked at how great they were. I mean, just indigestible, and they just make you feel strong. I mean, so now, where, where do you go from here? Where are you selling predominantly? And how do you want to continue to grow your brand, both in categories? And also in positioning in terms of chat sales channels?
Young: Yeah, I mean, I think as far as the branding goes, I mean, the work is never done, there’s always more and more people out there that don’t know the brand. I’ve never heard of it. So, we continue to build the brand, we continue to emphasize the main points, transparency, quality, all those factors that were always at the core of our business, and the noodles are leading the way because the noodles are what we’re known for, that kind of opens the door for us. But on the tail end of that, we have so many new products that are being developed because the noodle has been successful. And because we’ve earned that trust with customers in our retail buyers, they’re willing to look at our other products. So as we start to continue to develop, I mean, I feel like our brand is becoming more than just a noodle company, we actually trying to position ourselves like impossible, like beyond more like a food tech company.
John: That makes sense. You’re a tech guy. So it makes sense. You take the tech. And that makes it that makes really a lot of sense.
Young: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, the thing is like, as the world is continuing to evolve, environmental issues, the animal rights issues, right, so we’re definitely leaning more towards vegan products. And, we have new products that expand not only within the noodle category, but we’re going to be launching an instant pasta very soon as well. So now you’re going to have a pour hot water into a container and you’ll be able to eat marinara-based sauce or carbon airbase sauce within five minutes. So, those quick meals, meal solutions, that kind of thing. And we also have a fresh development, a vegan egg product that’s coming on the market. And that I mean, the egg market is huge, but there are so many issues with the environment and people that are allergic and, vegans that cannot eat dairy products. So we feel like we’ve got an opportunity to really make a dent in that market.
John: Not only vegans that can’t eat dairy products but people who eat generally, middle of the road type eating who should be eating more plant-based because the science proves that if you eat plant-based, you’re just going to be somewhat healthier. Yeah, so what’s the egg? Do you have a name for the egg yet?
Young: So we’re kicking around a few names right now. For now, we’re calling it an A-plus egg. But yeah, we will have a name and a brand very soon.
John: Wonderful. And for our listeners and viewers who want to learn more about Young Chang company and A-Sha foods please go to ashadrynoodle.com. It’s an amazing website in terms of colors, in terms of food photography, in terms of description of all the great products that they sell, and young cells. Young now talk about this. Now that you have a fascinating thing going on. A-Sha exists in Taiwan as a company, right?
John: And now, since 2015, here in the United States.
Young: That’s right.
John: How many of the products are that you’re selling a year? And you do well here, do you then start marketing there? And vice versa. And how much cross-cultural business Intelligence Do you share with each other? And that you decide then to market to the different population bases that you both are serving?
Young: Yeah, that’s a great question. So when we first started, we probably had about 35-40 different skews that we sold in Taiwan, coming over, we brought only 8 over. Okay. And so since that time, we’ve been developing new products suitable for the US and more international market, right. And, quite frankly, because our volume and our sales outside of Taiwan have become so predominant. Taiwan now actually takes, they take basically the lead from we they take the lead from us, basically.
John: Basically, you’re doing the R&D now for the rest of the world.
Young: That’s right. And so products now that are successful in the US actually have a better chance of succeeding in Taiwan, because they have notoriety outside of Taiwan.
John: I don’t want to know numbers, because that’s none of my business. But in terms of volume, how far are you away from your revenue eclipsing Taiwan’s revenue?
Young: I think we’re very close. Because as a company here, we average about the large 40-foot shipping containers, we average about 30 per month. We’re getting very close to eclipsing. I think we may have already done that.
John: So now you’re only seven years into it, you’re very young, you have your full of ideas. And it’s working, which is always a dream for entrepreneurs. So now it’s not if it’s gonna work, it’s how big can it be? Where can your vision go now, in terms of the United States, Canada, North America, and around the world?
Young: Yeah. So I mean, since we came to the US, I think the US was first after that, we went to Canada. We’re in Hawaii too, which I kind of count as its own country. Yeah. Hawaii is there, Singapore, Australia, UK. So we’re kind of making our way around the world. Of course, the regions that we’re in, still need a lot of work and a lot of maintenance to continue to build and continue to grow. But we’re slowly making our way around. And I think the biggest surprise to me has been that noodles have been generally accepted all around the world.
John: That is so exciting. And so out. So A-Sha, Taiwan, just sells to Taiwan, your you’re basically A-Sha, USA, sells to the rest of the world in North America.
Young: That’s right. So we’re an affiliate of the home office, but we’re pretty much international. And so for us, Taiwan, China is with home office, and the rest of the world is all us.
John: And now talk a little bit about you and your brother-in-law, are you the two owners of the company? Are there more investors? How does your governance work? And how do you continue to be inspired and learn and grow as an entrepreneur, and as a business person as well?
Young: Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve been very lucky. There are only two partners in this business, and the business is 100% self-funded. So we own the stack, all the way. The entire vertical is all ours. So I think that makes it very easy for us to make decisions like, do we want to deal with do a deal with Costco? Do we want to work with Trader Joe’s, it’s really a phone call here and there. We do have a board of governance as well. But in general, it’s basically like, we have a very flat organization. And I think it’s really that’s all that’s correct. So that’s allowed us to be very, very agile in our approach, and we can do deals quickly, we don’t have a lot of bureaucracy and a lot of red tapes to go through. We can kind of just discuss, and if it makes sense, we can pull the trigger on a lot of things.
John: How often do both of you meet like this?
Young: I talk to him pretty much, two or three times a day, and he’s 15 hours ahead of me.
John: That’s great. And then pre COVID and now during COVID. How did your business change and evolve because of COVID? And as we start to now, come out of COVID and you look back, do you feel that you’re a better company more efficient, and doing more with less because COVID force you to do so?
Young: Yeah, I think when COVID started, I mean COVID, unfortunately, it was a bad thing for everyone. On our business side, it actually was a boom to our business, right because a lot of people couldn’t go out. We had to quarantine for quite some time and So, I mean, sorry, the lockdown. So people were looking for meal solutions and different. So I think people were more willing to explore, and they were more willing to buy food online. So prior to COVID, the grocery online, that business was still kind of in its early stages, it was right dominated by clothing electronics makers. But now I feel like food is like, I mean, that’s the new norm, right? People order products online, get food delivered all the time.
Young: Yeah. So I think for us, I mean, that was really the thing, which is transitioning our business from a very heavy wholesale business into more of an online DTC model. And I think that’s going to continue on for sure way past COVID. Because now people are used to the convenience. And they’re used to being able to explore and find things on Instagram and say, Oh, interesting shop, now I can buy it. And it arrived on my doorstep in two, three days. So I think that’s now the new challenge, which is, where’s the balance between the wholesale market and the online market, and pricing wise, we used to be able to keep these two things separate. But now the world is much more condensed. So now people are looking at both saying, well, I could walk into my market and buy it, or I could buy it online. Relatively the same price.
John: And you manufacture your dry noodles here in the United States, and the noodles in Taiwan are made over there?
Young: Well, for now, we’re still manufacturing in Taiwan. 100%. We import everything. But there are plans to explore facilities within the US.
John: Yeah, and you’re young. So you also knew the big trends that were coming. So in terms of transparency, and sustainability, A-Sha dried noodles is very focused on transparency, innovation, sustainability, and other key ESG and circular economy type of trends. Is that not true?
Young: Oh, no, that’s 100%. True. I mean, that’s kind of just– I think, for us, I mean, a lot of people growing up in the States, I feel like that’s kind of ingrained in our heads from birth, right. The way we do business, the way we talk the way we look at products, and the way we kind of have to make that emotional connection with products. I mean, that’s one thing that I feel like a lot of international brands don’t always get that you have to make that connection first with the customer. Once you have that connection, you pretty much have them for life. I mean, at least once they believe in the product. I mean, it’s a fragile relationship, right? Because it can go either way. So every step we make always has those things in mind, which is, you got to be open, you got to be honest, and you got to basically present a product that really is what it is, there’s no kind of pulling the wool over the sheep size anymore.
John: Are your mom and dad’s still alive?
Young: Mom and dads are still here. Yes.
John: What do they think of all this?
Young: They thought I was crazy for giving up my 401k and pension plan. But now, I think I want to say I want to hope that they’re pretty proud of what their son did.
John: I’m sure they’re very proud. Do they still live in the Bay or they’ve moved down to Southern California?
Young: Yeah, they’re in Silicon Valley still. The kids are all down here. So they drive up and down, every so often.
John: Yeah, that’s wonderful. When COVID passes, does your brother-in-law come here a lot, and you go there a lot? When COVID’s not happening, are you guys going back and forth a lot?
Young: Yeah, that’s the interesting thing. I mean, we used to travel internationally, maybe five or six times a year. And since COVID, we haven’t moved for the better part of two years.
John: And exceeding in spades. So maybe all that travels a little bit exhausting. And maybe all that travel is not going to be necessary for the future.
Young: Yeah, I mean, definitely, God bless technology. It’s allowed us to be able to continue our business. Yeah. But there is something to be said about that personal touch, giving someone a handshake and a hug. Of course, a face to face is always so important. So I’m so eager to get back.
John: Yeah, I’m with you. Talk about, is it in your line of sight. In terms of growth, that one day I’ll be in the UK or France or Italy, and I’ll be able to have your delicious A-Sha noodles?
Young: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, in certain parts of Australia and Europe, that can happen, but we definitely need to make it more mainstream. And it starts with branding, right? Because the more we can get the name out there, the more people start hearing about it, the more awareness that’s when the retailers are willing to give us a chance. But we’ve been very fortunate. We have a great relationship with Costco. So they have locations all around Europe and Australia, Asia, so they’ve been a great partner of ours. We’ve been able to really use that platform to present our products.
John: Sound like financing isn’t a big deal. You have your brother in law and already you’re so successful. But in terms of visibility and becoming a household name. One of the reasons people take their companies public, two reasons. One is visibility. The other is to raise capital, sometimes not in that order. Is that something you and your brother-in-law dream about in terms of, if you really want to become a worldwide household name, taking the company public one day is a possibility?
Young: Yeah, 100%. I mean, that’s something we’re definitely looking at, for all the reasons you mentioned. That’s kind of been a dream of ours. It’s just in the progression of the growth of the business, that’s kind of the logical next step for us. And whether that be taking some private equity, money to bump the valuation, whatever that may be. But I think those are the things that we’re starting to explore. I mean, we started this business, really just not knowing what to expect. And I think now we’re being faced with some of the questions that are leading to much bigger things, but for us, I mean, we’re, we’re pretty simple guys, all we wanted to do is just bring a break, we don’t bring a great product to the, to the rest of the world. And I think we started something and it’s, it’s now our job to keep pushing it and get it out there as much as we can.
John: That’s great. Any last thoughts? When you look back, is there anything you’d inform yourself to your 20-year-old, 21-year-old self, and any other young entrepreneurs that we have a ton of young entrepreneurs from around the world that watch and listen to this show? Any entrepreneurial advice? Now, you’ve got seven years under your belt. Plus, you also had great corporate experience, what kind of advice would you give to those who want to become the next Young Chang, food entrepreneur, or disruptive entrepreneur in any space?
Young: Yeah, I mean, for me, it was always about being super detail-oriented. And I think, it’s easy to say having the courage having the confidence to do something, but I feel like that confidence really comes from really doing your homework and really understanding the situation. Because when you really do that, when you can walk into a room and know that you’re the smartest person in the room, I think you just naturally exude confidence, right. And I can’t say that I did it on my own. Like I said, I had a lot of mentors along the way, I had my brother-in-law pushing me to surround myself with good people, do my homework. And when you have that confidence, have the courage to make the move, because there’s never a right time to do it. I mean, certain times things can come to you, but you just have to go, and but I think my whole trick is I’ve got a son that’s going into college as well. And I basically tell him, “Look, you can be successful, successful at anything you do the name of the game is doing it in the least amount of time as possible.” So you can work your life, and you will be the best, whatever you want to be. But if you’ve got people around you that can help you shortcut it. That’s the way to go.
John: Where’s he gonna go to school?
Young: Still waiting for a few but I’m hoping he’s going to land in one of the East Coast Boston schools or NYU. That’s my hope. That’s my dad’s. That’s one hope.
John: NYU’s a great one. I mean, the boss’s schools are great, too. But if you’re talking to an NYU grad, I think…
Young: Oh, awesome.
John: I think he’d do very well at stern or so. Does he work for as he had all worked for the company while you’ve been building it?
Young: He has. So he’s the one that’s been there all the way.
Young: He’s seen it from when dad was moving boxes and putting barcodes on products right? Dad is basically, doing interviews with world-famous podcasts.
John: That’s great because my experience, my two kids above me that that leaves an indelible mark on him that will stay with Him forever. And it’s a positive experience that he’ll want to replicate when the right time presents itself for him.
Young: That’s right. I mean as parents all we can do is be good role models and say open when they need but we got to let them kind of do what they got to do. But I put my son through it. I made him work the booths when we had to cook thousands of bowls of noodles and he’s done it all.
John: Oh, that’s awesome. It’s awesome. Well for our listeners out there that want to find these great noodles and are fine with Young Chang and his colleagues, you just go to www.ashadrynoodle.com. Young, I wish you continued success. Keep making huge impacts. I want you to come back on the show and tell us where you are as the journey progresses. I hope all of your dreams come true. And it’s just so exciting to have you on and thanks for sending me samples because my granddaughter and myself enjoyed every drip and drop them they were just delicious.
Young: Thank you so much, John. It’s been a pleasure. Great chatting with you.
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