May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
In 1992, Congress designated the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Since May was the month that the first Japanese immigrant came to the United States, and was also the month that the transcontinental railroad was completed through the hard work of mainly Chinese immigrants, Congress decided that May was the ideal month to celebrate Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
While certainly a step in the right direction, Asian Americans/Pacific Islander (AAPI) face particular challenges today that other demographics don’t, especially when it comes to the business world, where they are often left out of the glass ceiling conversation altogether.
In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the challenges that AAPI businesses face. A scientific opinion poll conducted by the Small Business Majority in 2021 took 150 AAPI small business owners and found that more than 6 in 10 (63%) say that the pandemic has had a negative effect on their business. This survey was part of a larger national survey of small businesses conducted by the same organization, which suggests AAPI businesses tend to face major barriers that are unique to their demographic.
Diversity is the key to success in every field of business!
Here are some AAPI owned businesses worth supporting:
TheraBox was founded by a therapist to make it easy to discover and maintain self-care rituals that inspire joy and fulfillment each month. Each box includes a happiness activity meant to be practiced throughout the month (or longer!) in addition to 7-8 full sized wellness items for the mind, body and soul. Packed with over $120 in value, products are curated by therapists and include aromatherapy, natural and organic bath, body, and skincare products, and other lifestyle goodies. Happiness Plans range from a single month to a full year.
Salivation Snackfoods was founded by Asian-American entrepreneur, Andrew Chi. He’s the perfect example of a business founder who has channeled his heritage and unique life experiences to create a booming and super successful business. Andrew grew up outside Worcester, MA, where his parents had settled after immigrating from Taiwan. Meals were always the center of life, and from a young age, he and his brothers loved to help prepare the family feasts. Years later he found himself working on major brands like Nestle’s Butterfinger brand, he launched POM Wonderful for Roll International, worked at Mattel, and eventually launched a brand of his own in Salivation Snackfoods. The keto-friendly, gluten-free gourmet pastries come in three delicious flavors. Plus, each brownie is boosted with collagen and MCT Oil for additional benefits.
Vite Ramen is the world’s first all in one nutritionally-complete ramen. It takes the convenience of instant noodles and blends it with powerful nutritional benefits and savory flavors your taste buds crave. Vite Kitchens was started by Asian twin brothers, Tim and Tom Zheng. Tim cooked in a Michelin Star restaurant after culinary school, then graduated with a degree in Managerial Economics from UC Davis, while Tom graduated with a degree in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis. Their delicious products are packed full of protein, prebiotic fiber, Omega-3s, and more. Plus, the shelf-stable ramen is super fast and easy to make.
Rowena Scherer founded eat2explore to teach her kids and kids around the world about different cuisines and countries while having fun. Rowena is a busy working mom in New York City who grew up cooking with her family in Malaysia. As her kids were growing up, she forgot the joy of taking a break and cooking with her family. She created eat2explore for families and friends to have an opportunity to create lasting memories at home.eat2explore is a fun “explorer box” that features different countries and popular meals from those areas. Kids love to learn, and each eat2explore box comes complete with three easy-to-follow recipes, explore country brochure, activity sheet, country sticker, flag pin and a fun collectible. Available at www.eat2explore.com and Amazon.