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One Year App Anniversary

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The Korean Convenience App 1-Year Anniversary

January 10, 2023, marks the one-year anniversary that I launched The Korean Convenience app.  It’s a huge milestone in a product like the Korean Convenience app and I’d love to share a recap of the past year and also look ahead to what is next.

First, I wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of YOU!  The Korean Convenience app has become the product it’s today because of your feedback, and suggestions I’ve had with you.  Looking back over the last 12 months, I’ve learned so much as a non-tech founder, and I now know that my technical background will forever expand as problems arise.  I am passionate about being a Food Allergy Advocate for Korean food.  Working with developers, photographers, graphic designers, mentors, and those in the food allergy community is what gives me strength every single day to do my best work.

Cheers or 건배 to many more years of the Korean Convenience app and the community.

You can grab the latest version of the app on the App Store or Google Play Store:

Year In Review

The essence of the Korean Convenience app lies in not just what it does – but who it does it for.  One of the main reasons why I started building the Korean Convenience app is that I felt frustrated with trying to read the back of Korean snacks and grocery products.  I believed that if I had the front and back image of a product, with food allergen and ingredient information I would be able to save time and money and focus on what I could eat instead of what I couldn’t.

Following these core principles, I set out to compile a list of popular ingredients that can be found in most ready-made food products.  The cooking dictionary was born from wanting to have a reference for packages that have a long list of ingredients like most ramen, and chips.  Other core features included being able to add in multiple food allergies or intolerances so that the product could help the largest audience possible.

As I focus more on the efforts of providing convenience, multiple categories, a larger food database, and more search options, when I launched 12 months ago the Korean Convenience app was missing features.  Having these features in place is exactly what I focused on implementing the app updates last year.  

Our efforts in marketing yielded working with content creators and the non-profit organization Food Equality Initiative.  What I learned is how to maximize creative content, and the need to formalize a content marketing strategy.

During the month of August, I joined the Los Angeles CleanTech Founder’s Business Accelerator program.  This six-month program is designed to help underrepresented founders and startups to formalize a business model and create a solid path to profitability.  If you would like to find out more about the FBA at LACI check out their website here.

In October last year, we experienced our first app outage.  I learned three very valuable lessons.  The first lesson I learned was I needed to set up a formal communication system.  The second lesson I learned is to have a backup with the products and food allergen information available for the community.  You can browse the FOOD section and obtain product details: brand name, food allergies, ingredients, and weight/calorie information for every product as an additional resource.  

The last lesson and it’s perhaps the most valuable is the Serenity Prayer.  I’ve heard this prayer repeated many times before, but never was it so poignant as when I was waiting for the issue with the Korean Convenience app to be resolved.  I’m a non-tech founder, with several classes via community college, Youtube, and Linkedin Learning, however, when your app is broken it’s best to let the professionals handle it.

Looking Forward

There is still so much more work to do with the mobile app, forming business partnerships, and holding a pop-up store (look for more updates later this year).  Going forward, I want to get the food allergy and Korean food enthusiasts community more involved.  I want to improve the app and get more feedback on what we still need to achieve so that every update makes it as convenient as possible to buy Korean snacks and grocery products.

Features updates include being able to provide ratings/reviews and a full nutrition label.  *If you check out the LEARN MORE in the bread, canned, and chips categories you can already see a full nutrition label.*  

Whenever I chat with people in the food allergy community I am delighted to hear about how happy they’re they found the app and how they are managing their food allergies.  I’ve heard from someone who planned to visit South Korea on vacation and was concerned because their child has a food allergy.  Another person who lives here in the States is happy to have a mobile reference when they visit their local Asian mart.  The app addressed their concerns about the placement of the translated food label, lettering size, and having so many unfamiliar snacking options.

Stories like these help me to understand how I can improve the Korean Convenience app and is a great motivation to see the value the product delivers to the food allergy community.

If you have an original Korean snack or quick meal recipe you created – I’d love to share it!    

I am extremely excited about the next stages of the Korean Convenience app.  I hope to continue this journey with all of you together.  Have a great rest of the week, and I hope your grocery experience whether online or in-person is a positive one.

Erica Dozier


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