Edible Nutmeg Summer 2017 Feature

Our latest feature in the 2017 summer edition of the Edible Nutmeg dives into Yumi's beginnings, our company's purpose and its' future plans. Learn more about Yumi and our products in this generous write-up.

 

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Congratulations to our Founder and CEO Virginia P'an!

We are pleased to announce that Virginia P'an, our Founder and CEO has been recognized as one of the 2016 Outstanding 50 Asian Business leaders in the country. This award was presented by the Asian American Business Development Center at their 15th annual Gala Awards Dinner.

Biomaterials Tech Company Creates Innovative Plastics Alternative

Innovation Destination Hartford Website Curator Nan Price recently spoke with Virginia P’an, Chief Executive Officer of Yumi EcoSolutions, Inc. The social business venture startup manufactures innovative, premium-quality products made from sustainable and renewable biomaterials and is committed to creating a more sustainable planet.

 

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“Plastics!” – Not

The following article is reprinted from the March/April issue of Town Vibe.

Green Awards Winner: Yumi-Eco Solutions: cleaning up housewares

BY GEOFFREY MORRIS

Virginia P’an has a very simple mission for YumiEco Solutions: to replace plastics with sustainable natural products. “Plastics account for 25 percent of all solid waste in our landfills,” says P’an, who started this houseware and tabletop-products business in 2010.

Working with partners in China, P’an became aware of new natural materials that were being developed for the consumer marketplace. At first, she took these materials to the corporate world. She pitched Weight Watchers and Oreo, for example, to replace their plastic food trays that slide inside the packaging with YumiEco’s starch-based products.

“They couldn’t make a decision,” P’an says. “They wanted to test it and test it and test it.” Finally, with the help of a grant from the state of Connecticut, P’an and her team created their own consumer products to demonstrate the viability of these new innovative materials.

Now, six years later, YumiEco Solutions has two main products that are sold in more than a thousand retail stores across the county. The Return product line is a replacement for paper and plastic tableware – the plates and other items you might use for picnics or barbecues, then toss. Return products are made from a natural starch. 

“They are produced using non-GMO corn and starch, they are microwave safe, durable, biodegradable, compostable, renewable, sustainable. It’s the throwaway that goes away,” she says. “They are affordable and made with exceptional quality.”

Yumi Nature+ and Yumi Art+ products are made from 100-percent natural bamboo. This line of serving pieces is dur-able, sustainable, biodegradable, melamine-free, and petroleum-free. “This is a revolutionary and stylish bamboo product line. It’s made from all-natural materials that are renewable and farmed,” she says. “Bamboo grows like a weed and is very abundant.”

In March 2015, Yumi had ten of its bamboo fiber products featured in the Hall of Global Innovation, Going Green exhibit at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago. “This highlighted to thousands of the attendees there how green products could be high-quality, colorful, functional, and attractively designed,” she says.

The International Home and Housewares show featured 2,100 exhibitors across 13 miles of floor space from 45 countries. Yumi was the only company at the show to exclusively sell innovative green and eco-friendly home and tableware products. Yumi was nominated as a Tech Company to Watch at the Connecticut Innovation Summit in Hartford last year. 

“YumiEco Solutions is creating a new market and pushing forward with innovative technologies that will potentially have a positive, global impact,” says Daphne Dixon, a 2015 Green Award winner, 2016 Green Awards judge, and founder of Live Green CT!

Prior to launching the YumiEco Solutions sustainable eco-products company, P’an was creating financial products at American Express, she was a senior advisor to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and she was the first woman to manage investment portfolios, which were in excess of $7 billion, for the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. 

P’an’s next step was investing in this new business with her husband, launching Yumi in 2010. “This could easily become a billion-dollar business and the first in this space,” says P’an. “YumiEco Solutions is a young company that plans on replacing plastic with bio-materials in new and innovative ways.”


Yumi selected as Green Award Winner

Grace Farms, Bedford 2020, Yumi EcoSolutions, and Captain Compost are the four winners of the 2016 Green Awards organized by TownVibe. A prestigious panel of three judges selected the winners from nominees in Westchester County, Fairfield County, and Litchfield County. “The judges produced four very impressive winners,” says Geoffrey Morris, president of the media company that produces six regional lifestyle magazines. TownVibe Awards recognize local non-profits, businesses, and individuals who are leading the movement for environmental sustainability and maintaining a socially and economically responsible community. A reception and award ceremony will take place March 10.

Grace Farms is an 80 acre natural habitat preserved by the Grace Farms Foundation to promote sustainability and its five initiatives: nature, arts, justice, community, and faith. The Foundation River Building is an environmentally conscious structure that provides a sanctuary and community center for people to gather to support the five initiatives. Bedford2020 is a non-profit organization with an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. Through increased awareness and encouraging environmental action through fuel and energy efficiency, composting, and recycling, to name a few, the town has already reached 79 percent of B2020s goal. Yumi EcoSolutions is a bio-materials company dedicated to eliminating plastics and replacing them with sustainable eco-safe materials. Yumi has created product lines such as Return, a line of disposable tableware made from a natural starch that is compostable and biodegradable, and Yumi Nature+ products made from 100 percent bamboo. Captain Compost, a.k.a. Dan Delventhal, started an organic, gasoline-free lawn care business, runs his home almost entirely from self installed solar panels, and has installed recycling services in all companies he has worked for, and implemented composting at three.

Honorable Mention Awards go to Aetheria Relaxation Spa, Alexander Scaperotta, BMW of Ridgefield, Compounded Solutions in Pharmacy, Dana Gips, DeCicco & Sons Market, Ethan Allen Hotel, Fairfield Green Food Guide, Green Granary, Green Star Energy Solutions, Greenleaf Energy Solutions, Healthy Home Energy and Consulting, Heineken USA, Kathleen McHugh, Kent Conservation Commission, Murphy Brothers Contracting, New England Smart Energy Group, New Morning Market, Northwest Conservation District, Planet Fuel, Renewable Resources, Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters, South Farms, Sweet Earth Company, Vanguard Energies, Wooster School.

The awards will be presented on March 10 at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT.

TownVibe is the leading publisher of regional lifestyle magazines including Bedford Magazine, Berkshire Magazine, Fairfield Magazine, Litchfield Magazine, Ridgefield Magazine, and Wilton Magazine, as well as townvibe.com. To purchase tickets to the reception and ceremony, click here.

Yumi Featured in Food Network Magazine

 
 

As part of the Food Network magazine's Christmas issue, Yumi's Amore Stackable Bowl set was featured as one of the "100 Gifts for Food Lovers. 

Yumi featured in Natural Awakenings magazine

Learn about our push for a plastic-free world in our Natural Awakenings feature. Yumi's focus on plastic alternatives are innovative and creative, but also provide a aesthetic touch that is attractive and decorative.

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Bamboo Stacking Bowls

A recent write-up on Yumi EcoSolution's and our products reliability, use and attractiveness for homeowners. This review touches on our background story as a company, our bamboo product line, and our Return product line. A thoughtful review with "fun facts" about Yumi to close the segment. 

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