Liang, a BSBA alumna, started the company after being downsized from a finance position at a Boston bank.
“I’m at my best when I’m able to be creative, but that wasn’t really an option when I was working in finance. I knew my next career would incorporate food and have a social impact,” she says.
That’s when she came up with the idea for Asulia. Her handcrafted fusion dumplings have a thin wheat wrapper for a crunchy bite. Inside, they’re stuffed with superfood ingredients like kale, taro root, and chickpeas.
“They’re non-traditional with Asian fusion flavors, certified vegan by Vegan Action, and contain about half a day's worth of vegetable servings,” says Liang.
Plus, a portion of Asulia’s profits go to Room to Read, a nonprofit that supports literacy and gender equality across Asia and Africa.
This year, Asulia was selected as one of 128 startups (out of 1,600 applicants) to join the 2014 class of MassChallenge, a Boston-based accelerator. As a MassChallenge finalist, Liang is receiving free office space and mentoring this summer as she competes for a share of $1.75 million in cash prizes.
“It's an honor to be part of a diverse and talented class of startups. Everyone—from the MassChallenge staff to my fellow finalists—are some of the most humble, smart, kind, funny, and fun people that I've come to know! I love being part of a culture that supports startups and cares about people,” Liang says.
The resources at MassChallenge have already helped her begin developing new products and gain a competitive edge in the food industry. “The new relationships, support, and mentorship have already propelled Asulia forward and upward. Winning the competition would be icing on the cake!”
Asulia Dumplings are available at:
Whole Foods Market MA: Jamaica Plain, Dedham, Melrose, Fresh Pond, Charles River Plaza, South Weymouth, Wellesley, Swampscott, Lynnfield,
Whole Foods Market CT: Glastonbury
Whole Foods Market ME: Portland
Whole Foods Market RI: Cranston
Philbrick’s Fresh Market, Portsmouth, NH
The Willow Rest, 1 Holly St., Gloucester
Debra’s Natural Gourmet, 98 Commonwealth Ave., Concord
Volante Farms, 292 Forest St., Needham,
Formaggio Kitchen South End, 268 Shawmut Ave., Boston,