At your next supermarket trip, if you chat with a woman sharing samples of salad dressings with names such as Real Blueberry or Premium Miso, you are probably meeting Jenny Song Kwon, owner of the Santa Clara-based Seven Stars Food. The company produces Jenny Song salad dressings with the logo of a singing bird on each bottle. On her business card, Kwon’s title is “Salad Dressing Lady,” aptly named for a salad dressing enthusiast.
“I owned Japanese restaurants called Tsunami Sushi for 20 years in Mountain View and Cupertino,” Kwon says. “A lot of customers liked our food, especially the salad dressings on our salads. It’s a funny thing. At our restaurants we served mostly fish, like sushi. But a lot of customers told us they came to our restaurant because they liked our salad dressings. The salad dressings are my recipes.”
No longer in the restaurant business, Kwon says she launched her company last July. Since then, she has been busy selling her products and giving away samples at supermarkets and farmers markets. Presented with a small cup of greens, new consumers might try the acidic Balsamic Ginger dressing, the creamy Asiago Caesar dressing and the aromatic Premium Miso dressing, all pleasant to the palate.
“My goal is to get grocery stores, hotels and cafeterias at companies, like Google and LinkedIn, to carry my dressings,” Kwon says. “Right now, I’ve gotten specialty stores like Draegers to carry my products, as well as 99 Ranch Market and Safeway in Rivermark Plaza.”
According to Kwon, most ingredients she uses in her dressing are locally sourced and “come from within 100 miles.” The company website (www.jennysongfoods.com) says that Kwon’s salad dressings contain no MSG, hydrogenated oils or artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners.
“These days, a lot of people are looking for healthy stuff so I want to focus on healthy stuff,” Kwon says. “People like eating salads, but you can’t eat too much plain salad without dressing. Salad dressing [provides flavor] so you can enjoy what you’re eating. I want to share my food with the people. That’s the bottom line of what I want.”
When she is not working, Kwon enjoys vegetable gardening and spending time with her husband and sons.