Nona Lim is a self-described “passionate foodie.” Her eponymous company, Nona Lim, sells delicious and healthy fresh Asian bone broths, soups, and noodles—designed for those with busy lifestyles—in stores all across the country and online. “As life is hectic, I obsess over creating products that not only have amazing flavors and are great for you, but are also easy to enjoy,” she said.
In 2006, she started her company as a one-woman operation in a shared San Francisco kitchen space, where she designed healing, nutrient-dense whole foods made from scratch and inspired by the dishes and flavors she enjoyed growing up in Singapore. Word of her wonderful recipes spread, and soon her company was delivering tasty broths, soups, rice, and ramen noodles all over Oakland under her name, Nona Lim.
With the help of a $25,000 loan from Working Solutions, Nona Lim transitioned from a meal delivery service into a consumer packaged goods company. With financing and business consulting services from Working Solutions, Nona was able to test launch some items in the grocery space, which was pivotal in the eventual transition of the company from a meal kit business into a consumer packaged goods company.
“Working Solutions wants to support entrepreneurs and is willing to give you a loan when no one else will,” she said. “The staff is super helpful, and they’re willing to take a risk, unlike a traditional bank.”
Nona’s interest in healthy eating began when she was an athlete and sought natural ways to gain a competitive advantage in the precision sport of fencing. She found that food was a key factor. “I observed how inflammatory foods would hurt my performance; my body and brain would only function at peak performance or recover faster when fueled with whole, clean foods,” she said.
Nona Lim’s healthy, delicious, and convenient products are now found in stores across the country, including Whole Foods Market, Walmart, and Costco locations. To reap the benefits of a clean, plant-rich diet, Nona Lim products are made from scratch using fresh vegetables and high-quality meat, herbs, and spices, without additives or preservatives. All ingredients are responsibly sourced through partnerships with local farms and like-minded suppliers, such as organic chicken bones from Mary’s Free Range Chicken and tofu from Hodo Foods.
In 2016, Working Solutions honored Nona Lim with the Invest in Dreams Inspire Award for her contribution to local economic development by creating good jobs in the Bay Area. Nona currently has 35 employees, not including freelance consultants such as accountants and designers.
In June 2017, Nona's years of investment in her business paid off when she received $3 million in seed funding from venture capital firms to expand her production, create new products, and hire more staff. Nona envisions her company as being the industry retail leader in fresh, healthy Asian food packaged for consumers. “We want to create amazing products that introduce healthy Asian food to Americans,” she said. This year, Nona Lim hopes to break $10 million in revenue.
Visit Nona Lim online at www.nonalim.com to see her full array of products, check out recipes, read her blog, and find a retailer near you!
Featured on an episode of the podcast Honest eCommerce on July 1, 2019: “Running A Direct-To-Consumer Food Business On Shopify - With Nona Lim”
Featured in Entrepreneur on April 12, 2019: “Nona Lim's Convenient Bone Broth Cups Can Now Be Found in Many More Stores”
Featured in the Wall Street Journal on January 5, 2019: “Put Down That Spoon—This Soup is for Drinking”
Featured in Forbes on June 27, 2017: “Immigrant Entrepreneurs Poised To Shake Up The U.S. Culinary Landscape, Part I”
Video from the 2016 Invest in Dreams Breakfast
Featured on the Whole Foods Market website
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