LUCKYINSIDER: Tony Wu
Had a long day at work and too tired to spend an hour making dinner? Nomz has your back. With its wholesome Asian noodle soups tailored for busy individuals, Nomz provides traditional Asian soups that are not only healthy and delicious, but also quick and easy. From Chicken Shiitake Mushroom Soup to Vietnamese Beef Pho, the available options are balanced, fragrant, and super tasty. In this episode of LUCKYINSIDER, we sit down with co-founder Tony Wu, who left a career in finance, to bring comforting Asian noodle soups to your dinner table with the simple click of a button:
LUCKYRICE: What was the inspiration behind the concept of Nomz?
Tony Wu: My mother and more generally, home. Growing up, whenever my mother made her delicious Asian noodle soups, she always prepared huge batches. A portion would be for dinner while the rest would be frozen into individual containers, giving the family a quick and easy meal option available at anytime. Served with a side of freshly cooked noodles, these frozen soups delivered me happiness and convenience throughout high school, college, and now. When I spoke with other Asian American friends and discovered many of their parents did the same, Nomz was born.
LUCKYRICE: Where did the recipes for Nomz soups come from?
Tony: Our soups are based on a combination of family recipes that fellow Asian Americans have shared and those we have found through researching various cookbooks and online sources. The first recipe, Chinese Chicken Shiitake Mushroom soup, is from my mother. It hasn’t changed materially from what her family has followed for decades, except we use more expensive ingredients – organic wasn’t really a trend when I was growing up in the ‘80s.
LUCKYRICE: What do you think differentiates Nomz from other food or ingredient delivery sites such as Blue Apron?
Tony: The Nomz prep cycle is faster and easier than those of other ingredient delivery sites which require assembly. Our goal is to simply feed you well and quickly rather than provide a cooking experience. In addition to focusing exclusively on traditional Asian recipes, our meals are frozen with a blast chiller for convenience and flexibility. Other subscription services often require customers to prepare the product within days to avoid spoilage, which can be an inconvenience if social or work plans change.
LUCKYRICE: What has been the biggest challenge in starting your own company? Any advice for an aspiring food entrepreneur?
Tony: Discovering the right team and resiliency. In business, particularly entrepreneurship, it is all about teamwork. Resiliency is essential as start-ups are inherently uncertain, require a lot of effort, and often require one to make professional and personal sacrifices. Believing in your product, your team, and in yourself is a major key. As for advice, work hard and have strong values. People will notice.
LUCKYRICE: If you could only eat one Asian soup for an entire month, what would it be?
Tony: Nabe Yaki Udon with the tempura on the side. I love a variety of noodles, from Italian pasta to Asian rice noodles, but thick udon noodles cooked al dente land right in the strike zone for me. There is something so restorative and comforting about a clear broth Asian soup containing hearty noodles, a splash of dashi, seasonal vegetables, and of course, a runny egg yolk on top!
LUCKYRICE: Go-to late night snack?
Tony: Nomz or cereal - anything guilt-free. I'm in my 30s and relish recreational basketball, so eating healthy is important to me. Sometimes, however, I just have to have Trader Joe’s chicken tenders!