Born in Oakland, California to a fiesty stay-at-home mom and a devout Buddhist father, I was raised in New Jersey with two much older brothers. Growing up around these colorful characters shaped me early on. After studying Physiological Psychology and East Asian Studies at Smith College, learning herbal medicine in China, studying Buddhism in India, teaching English in Taiwan, 4 months of silent meditation in Burma, finishing the post-bacc pre-med program at Bryn Mawr and years working in HIV/AIDS and medical research, I realized my dream job was right under my nose. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for understanding medical school wasn't meant to be.
Upon adopting a vegan lifestyle in 2007, my sweet tooth went through a dry spell until some late night baking experiments began to fill the void. I realized I had an idea that would combine my desire to help people with my love for animals and food and wellness into a profession that could help people eat better, live better and experience the perks of a healthful lifestyle. And thus, Pure Sweets was born at the bustling and supportive Philadelphia Whole Foods Summer Markets of 2009. In May of 2014, we moved into our Locust Street location and became more than just desserts. It takes many more people than just me to operate what is now known as P.S. & Co. (Co. stands for company and collaboration in this case)!
I fantasized about attending culinary school and was honored to be given a grant by The James Beard Foundation in 2010 to attend The Natural Gourmet Institute Chef-Certification. I turned it down in order to focus on Pure Sweets. Luckily, I have had the pleasure of working alongside talented chefs and hospitality enthusiasts who have taught me the ins-and-outs of the trade and who share a similar philosophy for nutrient-dense, organic, plant-based eating. Our collaborations have exceeded what I could have created on my own.
When not meeting guests and working with the team at P.S. & Co, I enjoy trying new restaurants with friends and family, planning next phase growth, working out with my favorite teachers - Marius Enache for judo/mixed martial arts, Kip Martin for flexibility/ballet, Yulia Bolotova for tennis, and adventuring with my best friend, Tuffy, on long hikes in the mountains and swims in the ocean.
CHIEF DAD OFFICER
None of this could be without a great Dad and Mom. A retired research chemical engineer and devoted father and husband, Dad came from the remote village of Tengchong in Yunnan, China. Here he is pictured with Mom for their engagement photo in Mandalay, Burma (circa 1962).
After the Japanese Invasion during WWII and the rise of Mao Zedong, Dad, at the age of 14, rode into Mandalay on the back of a donkey to escape Communist China. Although his family had successful retail businesses, Dad's academic excellence steered him away from the family company and eventually led him to the United States to earn his doctorate at Caltech. After a long, continuous career with Exxon/Mobil, he is enjoying retirement and combining his passion for science, finance and family business.
Fan favorites such as Mohinga, Burmese Chickpea Curry and our famous chili sesame oil to name a few, are all thanks to Mom feeding us these comfort foods throughout childhood. Miss you Mom! (She passed in 2011 from complications of a benign brain tumor). Mom's dreams of owning and running a restaurant are coming true through P. S. & Co. ❤️
HEAD OF HR
During those long months in the city pound, did Tuffy foresee a career waiting for her? I think so. Pictured here with my niece and nephew back in 2011, this loveable mutt is head of HR and keeps us all on our toes!
Tuffy is also the inspiration behind our many Yappy Hour events. She is the best four-legged friend I could wish for - and I can't believe such an amazing, obedient, easy dog was overlooked in the city shelter for months.
For that reason, we especially support helping fellow pitbull mixes and older dogs find their furever homes. Every month, we host adoptable adult and senior dogs, and donate 10% of net sales to varying rescues such as the PSPCA, City of Elderly Love, PAWS, and PenPals of ACCT.
We are looking for experienced hospitality enthusiasts to join
our happy, healthy, passionate team.
We are rebuilding our team to reopen by summer.
Fill in this form below, and share why you wish to work with us!