Vertically integrated, we manufacture Chinese food, seasonings, and spices and distribute to local restaurants (Wonton King/Kings), grocery stores, and food services (Sysco Foods). Since 1980, our products have been handmade and include staples like wontons, dumplings, spring rolls, our signature Heavenly Hot Sauce, and other cultural favorites.
Please describe the growth journey of your business including where you are at today.
“I started this company in 2002. The whole premise was to take an existing product, which was the Wor Wonton created by my father, Alfredo in 1980, and to scale it into a store called Wonton King. I opened up 5 stores and focused on the things that generate the most revenue (the 80/20 rule).
Throughout this process, I also discovered that I wanted to internalize the production, and not spend money on third parties, so I opened up a company called ‘Aromas of Asia’ which produces and manufactures al the food that goes into Wonton King. We also provide and sell ‘ready to serve’ meals in Calgary Co-op grocery stores as well as through Sysco Wholesale.
The COVID-19 pandemic really decimated and took out any extra fat that we had. In the last couple of months, I have been restructuring the company and taking away the elements that don’t make sense to ensure we are better prepared for the future. At this time we are focusing our efforts on our wholesale and grocery options, which is where I see the real growth of the company. ”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“When I think of the journey of Angela, I am so proud of being true to my values and respecting who I am, as well as growing into my potentiality. Even now, I feel every decision I have made has been towards ‘how do I show up in this word for me, and for the community’.
Before starting this company, I worked in banking and experienced a wide range of discrimination. Even while working in this situation, I was able to take the best elements out of it, as well as learn from it, and apply it to my next journey.
Overall, I am most proud of being able to stay true to my four pillars – making a difference in my family, myself, my community, and my business.”
What is the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a successful entrepreneur?
“How to make an impact on this world would be one of my biggest challenges. In the past, I have helped over 20 families immigrate here, and so finding that blend between financial security as a single mom, and at the same time making sure I am spending time making an impact on the community.”
How has EO assisted you, personally and professionally?
“Oftentimes, we are distracted by the challenges that are right in front of our face. When I get together with EO’ers, we encourage each other to ‘step outside of the forest so that we can see the trees’ and perform to our best. I feel with so many things that require our time, EO has really distilled the essence of how to be a better entrepreneur or person, and informs what that means and how to scale it. EO has already taken the ‘fluff’ away and all you are left with is the very essence of how to be a better you. ”
What would you say to a prospective EO’er about joining our organization?
“Oftentimes, if it’s come on to your radar, it’s come on to your radar for a reason. I would encourage them to trust in the process. Amazing citizens of our community are part of EO, and they are entrenched in some really invaluable businesses that help the city and citizens, and we do a lot of philanthropic work on a personal level. If this kind of thing resonates with you, you have nothing to lose other than a year’s worth of immersing yourself in what we’re all about. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
What advice would you provide to a colleague or aspiring entrepreneur in regards to starting and running their own business?
“I believe that frugality to a certain degree and bootstrapping forces us to be innovative and think outside the box. We need people to challenge the status quo, and it can be done. You don’t need to have a lot of money to have an impact and grow your business. The money will come if you have the right idea and process. The passion and clarity of why your business will make a difference is more important than anything.