A quarter-life crisis, a food truck, and the road less traveled.
“Call it a quarter-life crisis or a period of self-exploration, I woke up one day knowing I needed an adventure where I could give back to my community and reconnect.” This brief moment of clarity for Sophia Woo was a catalyst that would send her and long-time friend Sunny Lin into a never-ending series of challenges, successes, failures and opportunities to live fearless. You may recognize Woo and Lin as Raleigh’s hometown heroes, the charismatic faces who competed and won Season 6 of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. However, the road to success has been a journey filled with roadblocks and reroutes that continues today.
Neither lady has formal culinary training. However, both love food and wanted to work closely in feeding their community, and so The Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck was born. Many would be wary to leave a stable career in corporate America, purchase a truck from a complete stranger on Craigslist (who’s now a friend) and spend the next three months rebuilding that vehicle from the ground up. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for what this duo has accomplished. Together they raised $13,000 on Kickstarter, won $50,000 on reality TV, and developed an inventive menu craved by all who have tasted it.
“You need to take the leap – believe in your ideas and yourself.”
Their recipe for success? The two divide and conquer and support each other no matter what. But more than that, they strongly believe you need to “take the leap – believe in your ideas and yourself.” Theirs was the newest business to compete in season 6 of The Great Food Truck Race. With only one year in the business, “we knew we had an easy excuse to pass on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Instead, we stepped recklessly into the unknown and relied on our grit to see us through. The show served as a crash course in business, but even more than that, the knowledge we gained proved the importance of taking risks and living fearless.”
Sophia and Sunny aren’t slowing down anytime soon. With their beautiful brick-and-mortar restaurant called MOFU Shoppe in downtown Raleigh, these inspired entrepreneurs are working harder than ever. Regardless of the long days and the challenges they face, they never forget the outpouring of love from the community. “Our risks would not have been met with success if not for the support of our family and friends. They’ve been here since the beginning. It’s what drives us to continue to challenge ourselves.”