Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

First Feature:
Meet Thirsty Dumpling!

Introducing First Features: In these blogs, we will be featuring brand new CPG startups who have never received any media coverage before. We are SO thrilled to provide our community members with the first look at some of the most exciting emerging brands in CPG. These brands may be the best-kept-secrets for now, but we have a feeling they won’t stay that way for very long.

First up? Thirsty Dumpling, a make-your-own dumplings brand launched on November 3rd by Startup CPG community member Samantha Mui.

Who is Thirsty Dumpling?

Thirsty Dumpling is a dumpling party in a box that can be delivered to your doorstep to make 36 mouth-watering dumplings right at home. Their kit removes all of the pain points when making dumplings at home. No need to go to the store to pick up 10-15 ingredients, Thirsty Dumpling provides every ingredient you need except the meat (or meat substitute). Founder Samantha Mui explains, “We’ve taken all of the fresh ingredients [in dumplings] and are either using dehydrated or dry goods instead. We also have liquid pouches with soy sauce and sesame oil, and three pre-made mixes: a dough mix, a filling mix, and a dipping mix. It’s all activated through moisture or meat, which is why we’re called Thirsty Dumpling. We’re completely shelf-stable, so when we send it to you it’s basically no different than sending you a shoe.”

Thirsty Dumpling also includes step-by-step instructions and QR codes that link to short-form video content for consumers to reference as they cook. In addition to these instructions, the kit includes a dumpling crimper for customers who feel daunted crimping by hand or for families with small kids who may need extra assistance. Whether it’s for a get-together, a special date night, or family time, Thirsty Dumpling invites you to join in on the fun and share the joy of crafting dumplings with your favorite people.

What is Thirsty Dumpling’s origin story?

“Everything begins with your childhood. Your inspiration, your creativity, it all comes from your childhood. I was not a great student and struggled to pay attention to lessons, but I loved watching cooking shows growing up,” Mui explains. This interest eventually led her to attend culinary school, write a cookbook, and, now, start her own food brand. Her first brand idea was to create a chili oil, but after attending an accelerator program and learning how difficult it is to be on shelves in retail, Mui tabled that idea. “It sounded like suicide to me. I wasn’t ready to put my name on it and get this crazy loan. Plus, there is so much chile oil out there and they’re all great, so I wanted to do something more creative.”

A few months later, while Mui was on the phone with her mom discussing dumplings, she was struck by inspiration. “Why don’t I create a dumpling experience that allows everyone to easily make dumplings at home?” Within three weeks, Mui incorporated her business, and on November 3rd, a mere seven months after her initial idea, Mui officially launched Thirsty Dumpling.

What has been your proudest moment since founding Thirsty Dumpling?

“Starting Thirsty Dumpling off a hunch and launching it seven months later. I look back on it now, and think, ‘Thank God I ran like that.’ If I had stopped to consider what I was doing, knowing now how difficult it can be and how much capital it takes to sustain a business, I might never have done it. But I just started — I found a local co-packer, a supplier in Asia for all of my packaging, and a graphic designer, and one month into developing this idea, I went to a startup CPG meetup and began cooking our dumplings for everyone there.”

What are some of your dreams for the future of Thirsty Dumpling?

“I love specialty grocery stores, so I would love to see Thirsty Dumpling in hundreds of specialty grocers across the nation. I think specialty grocers are growing. People want to go to the store and have an experience. I see Thirsty Dumpling being in stores like Pop Up Grocer and Fox Trot where customers want to try new things. I think people are getting tired of normal charcuterie boards, so I want us to be known as a dumpling party experience people can use as an alternative to the normal cheese board when they host a party.”

“As we grow, I’m also eager to do partnerships and collaborate with other food companies. I think there’s so much we could do with the Thirsty Dumpling experience. I could see a chili oil collaboration or doing pairings with beer but there are so many options. Until then, I’m focusing on getting our name out there and building our e-commerce presence.”

What advice can you give to other founders hoping to start a CPG brand?

“If you’re thinking about an idea, just give it a shot.”

How can the Startup CPG community support you?

“I’ve been cold emailing all these specialty grocery stores, but people are so busy, so I can’t see them responding to such a new brand. If anyone has connections to specialty grocers and they’re willing to share our product, that would be amazing. This is such a new product and it’s so different, so I think word-of-mouth is going to be so important in building brand awareness. I’ve met so many amazing people through Startup CPG who are farther along in their journey than I am, and it’s been so helpful to just be able to talk about my brand and make connections.”

“We’re also doing a lot of team events because [Thirsty Dumpling] is perfect for remote/hybrid events, so if anyone wants to do an event with us we’re all ears. But mainly, we’d love help getting into specialty grocery stores because I think those are the places where Thirsty Dumpling will thrive.”

Where can people purchase your product?

Thirstydumpling.com

To connect with Samantha about Thirsty Dumpling, reach out via Startup CPG’s Slack (@SamanthaMui) or Linkedin.

Are you an emerging brand that has never been featured by a media publication? We want to give you your first feature on StartupCPG.com! Fill out this form to be considered.

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