Here’s a hypothetical for you: Let’s assume that you have a quaint little shop where you sell homemade noodles with different toppings, flavors, and dressings. You also happen to make a chili sauce that people love. Then, one day, you run out of said sauce and decide to keep selling noodles without it, but as it turns out - you can’t, ‘cause people refuse to get anything without your renowned chili oil. What do you do?
Well, if you’re anything like Tao Huabi, you quickly realize that you’ve got a potential hit on your hands in the shape of your trademark sauce and choose to focus solely on developing it into an entire brand! That’s precisely how Lao Gan Ma (or the Old Godmother) was born in 1997.
Tao Huabi was born in a poverty-stricken village in Meitan County, Guizhou, in 1947. By the beginning of the 1990s, she was widowed with kids and had to do everything in her power to make ends meet for herself and her kids. Thanks to the incredible amount of hard work, she managed to open up a small noodle store, where she sold her homemade delicacies. And then, one day, the aforementioned story occurred, and Tao knew she had to start making her chili oils, sauces, and crisps her main focus in order to achieve the success she had been striving for.
That’s precisely what she did, and in 1997, Lao Gan Ma started its production with 40 workers - but that was far from the end. To this day, the Old Godmother manages to be one of the leading brands in China, producing and selling 1.3 million jars of product daily! Yes, you read that right - we said daily! Lao Gan Ma chili crisps and their other famous chili creations are sold in over 30 countries worldwide and beloved by people of all ages, tastes, and backgrounds - including celebrities like John Cena, which is not the first name you’d expect to pop up when discussing food-related topics, but hey, anyone with an adventurous palette is a friend of ours!