On September 23rd, 2021, Karat by LollicupTM CEO, Alan Yu, accepted the honor of Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by the Asian Business Association for Lollicup’s inspirational business success and strong contribution to local communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
Alan Yu has built one of the largest manufacturer and distributor of disposable foodservice products. His goal is to help businesses of all sizes grow by becoming a seamless one-stop shop for all their beverage, restaurant and sanitary supplies. Alan has a talent to recognize opportunities ahead of the curve such as introducing bubble tea to the US and pioneering the movement for eco-friendly foodservice products.
Another significant decision was to pivot to personal protective gear immediately in March 2020. Karat by Lollicup was among the first American businesses to begin selling 3-ply face masks without price-gouging. It was important not to take advantage of this terrible circumstance. Soon after face shields, hand sanitizers, sanitizing wet wipes and contactless thermometers joined the Karat Care product line. It was this strategic move that created growth for the company during a year that many businesses closed.
Throughout this significant growth, he also recognized the impact his success can make on local communities and, therefore, gave back to law enforcement, schools, hospitals and community centers. Alan worked with members of the ABA to coordinate the donations to organizations in Los Angeles and Orange County. As a result, in 2020, Karat by Lollicup donated over a million masks and hand sanitizers.
The Asian Business Association (ABA) provides opportunities, education, and networking to Asian American communities and business owners. Their events connect entrepreneurs with one another to share stories and advice. The ABA also educates business owners about different aspects of running a business, such as how to hire the right people, through their numerous programs. Furthermore, an important part of their mission is to advocate for Asian American communities; that is why they sit on the boards of several large organizations in Los Angeles.