Rachelle Liu and Kathleen Chen
Mochee LA: A Sweet Family Tradition Lives On
While mochi can be found in all different shapes and forms, there is one type that is especially dear to Priscilla: her mom’s traditional homemade mochi. Join us today as we meet Priscilla, the founder of Mochee LA who truly does it all!
Priscilla and her husband both hail from Jakarta, Indonesia and have resided in the San Gabriel Valley for almost 8 years. Aside from creating delicious mochi, Priscilla works full time as a Digital Product Manager for a women’s shoe company and takes care of her daughter who is almost two years old. Her husband has a culinary degree, and together they love to cook, bake, and host luncheons and dinners. “You can say that our life really revolves around food,” she tells us. Despite this, Priscilla had never planned on entering the food industry or even opening a business. She simply loves to eat mochi and grew up on the sweet and stretchy snack. There are many different variations of mochi, but the one she grew up eating was covered with sugar and peanut crumbs. Wanting to share her childhood snack, Priscilla started making her mochi for family and friends who all loved it and encouraged her to start selling it. She tells us, “In a world full of many different types of modern desserts, I wanted to introduce this traditional mochi with a modern twist. I didn’t expect that this would become such a hit. It started from my close friends, expanded by word of mouth and my church community, and now, here we are.”
Priscilla’s mochi makes many eaters feel a sense of comfort and nostalgia, and it is likely because Mochee is heavily influenced by her mom’s recipe and her childhood memories. She says, “I remember exactly how my mom would make it. My sisters and I would take turns to help, of course while snacking on the peanuts. Those sweet memories will be forever etched in my heart. My mom’s laughter, her kind voice, her warm touch, the sweetness of the mochi, chewiness, everything. It felt like it was yesterday. My mom passed away a few years ago, so this is a sweet way to preserve her recipe and legacy.” It is such a beautiful and touching legacy to preserve, and Priscilla and her husband have been working especially hard to run Mochee during this trying time. With her full time job and responsibilities as a mom, it is unsurprising that the biggest obstacle for Priscilla is time. As a new business owner, she has to manage everything from social media to customer service. It is hard work, but Priscilla says that she feels motivated by the community and the response she’s received.
Community means everything to Priscilla, and she is especially thankful for the people in the San Gabriel Valley who have been supporting each other and coming together during this pandemic. It breaks her heart to see the mom and pop shops that are struggling, and helps small businesses by dedicating an Instagram highlight to showcasing other small businesses. Priscilla tells us, “During this wild time, people tend to want to stay at home, but seeing people still want to pick up our mochi and support small businesses really keeps me motivated. We even had people come all the way from Woodland Hills to pick up mochi in the SGV area. I am still amazed.”
We’re not surprised that people are willing to come so far to try Priscilla’s mochi as her product is truly unique. Priscilla wants her mochi to be as authentic as possible. She sources ingredients locally and roasts toppings like black sesame and peanuts in house, a labor intensive step that makes a huge difference in quality. She also pounds her mochi, and says that is the key to an exceedingly springy texture. She offers eco-friendly packaging, and her mochi experience comes as a unique DIY for people to prepare at home. In addition to the traditional flavors, Priscilla has also offered inventive flavors like Umami Pork Floss and even Pumpkin Spice. She draws inspiration from her Indonesian background and says, “If you are not familiar with Indonesian food, they tend to use many different spices so they are packed with flavors. With Mochee, I like to play around with my favorite ingredients and have fun with it!” Priscilla plans on keeping her original toppings, but will switch the other flavors around seasonally. “[Her] plan is to incorporate [her] Indonesian roots with a twist!” Beyond having a fantastic product, Priscilla also highly prioritizes her customers. She has over 10 years of experience in the customer service industry, and says one of the things she values most is being true and relatable to her customer.
In the future, Priscilla hopes to expand Mochee even further. They recently did a pop-up shop at Newport Seafood in San Gabriel. Even after doubling their regular spots, they sold out and even had to return home to make more mochi on the spot! Because of the successful turn out, Priscilla hopes to have more pop-up shops in the future or even open a permanent location. She says, “My hope is that when people take a bite of the mochi, it can transport them back in time. Especially during this hard time, I hope everyone can forget their problems for a little bit when they take a bite of our mochi.” We just love Priscilla’s story, drive, and heart for others, and hope you will let your troubles melt away with a bite of her mochi too!
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