Meet Ahrum Pak, from WNWN Food Labs
If you grow up in a Korean American household, some things are bound to stick with you. Being around all the chopping, marinating and fermenting made Ahrum Pak develop a love for food from a very young age (despite being, in her own words, truly horrible at handling spices – to her mom’s despair). What she didn’t know, though, is that her career path would later be intertwined with the food industry itself.
Prior to co-founding WNWN Food Labs, one of the 2 From-Start-to-Table winners had a solid management consulting career, which led her to advisory roles in innovative healthcare and insurance companies across the US, Europe and Asia. Once she completed her MBA at INSEAD, and deepened her understanding of the mechanics of finance and the positive role of innovation, she felt the urge to start her own company, tackling sustainability and inequality in food supply chains. And so, with her co-founder Johnny Drain, they launched the first cocoa-free chocolate, creating a win-win situation for food producers, consumers and the environment. WMWN was born to leverage tech and transform plant-based ingredients into high-value, sustainable and ethical treats.
Furthermore, on the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the area of sustainability, she stresses the need to balance the financial with the social and environmental side of the businesses. Operating in an environmentally friendly and socially conscious manner, while still making a profit and addressing multiple stakeholders and community needs is undoubtedly no easy task. That’s something she tackles by continuously listening to her team, suppliers, partners and consumers.