A trip to the grocery store awhile back yielded some nice results. It’s pretty rare I go to our local store and find something new, but I found these Ramen Express cups – which said they were from the United States! This required swift action to reach out and learn more, and that’s how this Meet The Manufacturer was born. A big thank you to Reza Soltanzadeh, CEO & President, Palmetto Gourmet Foods for granting this interview – let’s get started.
Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Palmetto Gourmet Foods
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Ramen Express?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Ramen Express was launched in June 2020. Our vegetarian instant noodles are made at our facility in Saluda, South Carolina. You can purchase Ramen Express in most states now, and we continue to expand our distribution.
TRR> Why the name Ramen Express?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Instant ramen is the ultimate tasty, portable, affordable meal – and it’s ready in 3 minutes. That’s why we call it Ramen Express.
TRR> What was the first product you produced?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Ramen Express is our first product! We are so excited to share these tasty, affordable, vegetarian noodles that are made right here in the US. You can find Ramen Express in Albertsons company stores across the country – including Safeway, Vons, Star Markets, Shaws, Jewel-Osco, ACME, Tom Thumb and more, and now in some select Wal-Marts,
mostly in the Southeast US.
TRR> You refer to Chef Woo – who is Chef Woo?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Chef Woo is the name of our overall vegetarian ramen noodle products:
• Ramen Express by Chef Woo, and
• Chef Woo organic noodles – which will be launched in August.
Ramen Express is our tasty, affordable instant vegetarian ramen.
Chef Woo is our new premium brand 100% vegetarian organic noodles with 20 grams of
protein! Chef Woo instant ramen will be available in more “sophisticated” flavors and is
an excellent source of protein, containing all essential amino acids for the perfect plantbased protein meal. Chef Woo noodles are fried in sunflower oil which is a healthier oil
because it can withstand high cooking temperatures. We can’t wait to get Chef Woo
organic noodles out into the market!
Some people may be confused because there was a Chef Woo ramen brand on the
market 10 years ago that went bankrupt. That was a completely different company and
product and is not associated with us at all.
TRR> Your company is located in the United States. Can you tell us a little about your
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Palmetto Gourmet Foods is located in Saluda, South Carolina, which is halfway between Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. It’s one of the largest noodle production facilities in the world, and it’s right here in the US.
TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Ramen Express is available in 3 flavors
1) Chicken Flavor
2) Beef Flavor
3) Hotter & Spicier
All of our noodles are vegetarian, with no egg or dairy, and are Halal and Kosher
TRR> How many noodle products do you produce every year?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> We were so proud when the first cups of Ramen Express came off the line in May 2020. Now we’re ramping up production every day to meet growing demand.
TRR>How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Ramen Express noodles are vegetarian, dairy-free, egg-free and have no MSG. They are also Halal and Kosher-certified. The noodles are fried which makes them taste great, compared to those that are baked.
Our vegetables are dehydrated which helps maintain their color, quality and shelf life.
They plump up nicely when you add water and taste delicious versus freeze dried
TRR> Apart from noodles, are there other products you produce?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> We are focused solely on noodles – and making food with a purpose… tasty, nutritious and accessible to everyone.
TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats or vegetables?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> The beauty of ramen is that you can add just about anything from your fridge to create a delicious meal. I think that just by adding an egg makes it a 10 out of 10!
TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you
recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Ramen Express is similar in sodium to other instant ramens in the affordable category, although we hear people say it tastes less salty than others.
To reduce sodium, we recommend using less of the flavor seasoning packet. It’s easy to
add flavor with other lower sodium options like hot sauce or by cooking in low sodium
TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> We launched Ramen Express during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first thing we did was to donate thousands of cups of Ramen Express to local
#Healthcareheroes at hospitals in South Carolina and Georgia.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Yes, we will be introducing our high protein organic vegetarian instant ramen in the coming months called Chef Woo. We’ll make sure you’re one of the first to taste it!
TRR> In what countries are your products popular? Do people enjoy them differently in
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> Ramen Express is currently distributed solely in the United States. We are proud to be able to offer tasty, affordable noodles that are made in America and are accessible to all Americans.
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make
them extra special?
PALMETTO GOURMET FOODS> I enjoy ramen often with my wife and kids. I always add sriracha sauce. Sometimes, if I have guests I make a big batch and add baby corn, mushrooms, bok choy, scallions, soy sauce and chili oil.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Ramen Express and your products!