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How did best friends go from management consulting and finance to launching a non-dairy frozen dessert company? By merging food and tech, this dynamic duo now sells their products in 400 retail stores across the west coast! Come hear Hannah & Mollie share how they methodically laid out their business plan and fast- tracked their timeline with Hakuna Brands.
Head Coach ,
Scott Asai is the Head Coach at Leadership Muscle. He's been developing leaders for 20+ years with youth, sports, Millennials & companies. Scott's serial entrepreneur endeavors include career development, online SAT/ACT prep and community fundraising, but ultimately leadership development is at the core of who he is. Scott's background consists of: a B.A. in Psych, M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Certified Professional Coach & Certified Strengths Coach.
It was friendship at first sight when Hannah Hong & Mollie Cha met in 2005 at UC Berkeley. A lot has changed in the nearly 15 years they've been best friends, but something that hasn't is their love for indulgent desserts, esp. ice cream. But, something that has changed? Their dietary needs. They both became lactose intolerant in their early 20s and their quest for non-dairy goodness began! In 2016, they discovered something called banana nicecream - basically frozen banana chunks blended with a little almond milk. When they tasted it, it was like lightning striking. Here was a delicious frozen dessert that delivered on taste while hitting all their needs and more. It was non-dairy, 100% plant-based, and no refined sugar. A genuine good-for-you treat that celebrates real ingredients. And they knew they had to bring this idea to families everywhere. Keeping this ethos in mind, they created Hakuna Banana, a banana-based non-dairy ice cream. Recently, they also launched Totes Oats, an oatmilk non-dairy ice cream. Their nicecreams are sold in over 400 locations in the western half of the US.
Prior to the world of nicecream, Hannah pursued a career in management consulting (PwC, Mercer) and graduated from UCLA Anderson (MBA) in 2011. Post-UCLA, she worked in innovation at Bolthouse Farms (then owned by the Campbell Soup Company). Mollie pursued a career in finance (Goldman Sachs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) prior to getting her MBA from MIT Sloan. Post-MBA, she joined Hannah on the innovation team at Bolthouse Farms with a focus on strategy.
Prior to the world of nicecream, Mollie pursued a career in finance (Goldman Sachs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) prior to getting her MBA from MIT Sloan. Post-MBA, she joined Hannah on the innovation team at Bolthouse Farms with a focus on strategy.
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