Korean cuisine is delicious, and one of its staple dishes is kimchi. Mama O’s Premium Kimchi is an authentic recipe made the traditional way in Brooklyn, New York. Founders, Kheedim Oh and Myung Oh appeared on season 14 of Shark Tank but didn’t get a deal. As of 2023, Mama O’s Premium Kimchi is worth $2.5 million.
Kheedim Oh’s Background
Kheedim Oh is the son of South Korean immigrants who settled in Maryland, United States. He moved to Washington, DC, to study audio engineering at American University. After college, he lived in New York City.
Although he has a degree, Kheedim never really worked a typical 9 to 5 job and considered himself a hustler, often taking different gigs to make ends meet. Contrary to what many may think, he loved his lifestyle. One of his main side hustles was DJing and spent a lot of time trying to break into the entertainment industry.
Founding Mama O’s Premium Kimchi
One day, Kheedim craved kimchi but didn’t like what local stores sold. So, he called his mom to teach him how to make his own kimchi. It required a 50-pound crate of vegetables, which he couldn’t finish on his own.
He gave some of it to his friends, using only a skateboard to carry the box. On one of his trips, he stopped in a meat shop, where the butcher said meat is best paired with kimchi. Kheedim tried selling the product and came up with a catchy brand name.
When he got serious about the business in 2008, he moved from various places to produce kimchi for stores and restaurants. He got into Whole Foods and started marketing on Facebook to attract more customers.
Getting on Shark Tank
Mama O’s Premium Kimchi eventually became a national brand and despite tough economic conditions in 2022, the company was recognized by Forbes for its strong growth. Kheedim Oh did all this without investors.
During this time, he has been working with a small group of individuals to create traditional kimchi. However, he needs more capital to supplement his expanding audience and product line.
After Shark Tank
Mama O’s Kimchi was already doing well, but appearing on the show has boosted its sales. Right now, they are focusing on reducing operating expenses and growing sales on their e-commerce store. The company hired a consultant for seven months to improve its operations and logistics.
Apart from plain kimchi, they also started selling kimchi pastes and kits. Mama O’s has a production facility in Brooklyn and is selling kimchi to local grocery stores, restaurants, and bodegas. Their products are sold internationally, and it is particularly popular in the UK. They are also available in Whole Foods, Fairway, Amazon, and their website, KimchiRules.com.
Most of the kimchi products have a rating of over 4 stars on Amazon and were ranked by tastingtable.com as the 5th best Kimchi brand. Mama O’s makes an estimated $400,000 in annual revenue and is worth $2.5 million.