If you haven’t heard of Weee!, maybe the online delivery grocer doesn’t deliver in your area (their major markets are SF Bay Area, LA, Seattle, Portland, San Diego and New York but expanding rapidly). Weee! was founded in Fremont, California (San Francisco Bay Area) and is focused on ethnic food, specifically Asian and Hispanic groceries.
This past week, I saw that a friend of mine who works there, posted on Facebook that Weee! announced that director Jon M. Chu (of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ fame) joined the company recently as Chief Creative Officer:
“It was Chu who, as one of Weee!’s new pandemic-era customers, initiated contact with CEO Larry Liu, who founded the Fremont, Calif.-based company in 2015. The two men – both Chinese Americans from the San Francisco Bay Area – got to talking, and to their surprise, an opportunity to collaborate emerged.
“I don’t know any combination of two people coming together with as different skill sets as us, but what we found in common was the idea of creating a new experience for food buying and, in that, culture sharing and passing,” says Chu. “It just became a very potent idea to me that I couldn’t let go of.”
In addition to being a signature element of his films, the sharing of food is part of Chu’s roots. His father, Lawrence Chu, opened the Chinese restaurant Chef Chu’s in 1970, and the family continues to run the beloved Silicon Valley staple to this day. “I’ve watched food spread the ideas of who we are as a family, as a people, both at the ground level at the restaurant and on the movie side,” the director says. “This idea of being able to make that experience accessible to everybody using story doesn’t mean [screen] content. It means the actual experience of discovering something.”
Weee!’s website and mobile app currently already have a social component alongside the e-commerce; each product’s page includes a robust reviews section where customers post photos and multilingual quick takes, but Chu and his team will ideate ways to further enhance engagement, including tapping into the director’s extensive rolodex for partnerships with Hollywood studios and Asian American leaders and influencers like the nonprofit Gold House.”
That is pretty interesting to see what Weee! and Chu are doing. I happened to organize some “Gold Open” buyouts for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ (and even made it into one of Chu’s Twitter or Instagram videos) as well as for Shang-Chi and Eternals. My favorite film that has Asian food in the background is one of my favorite films by Ang Lee Eat Drink Man Woman, which happened to also be remade as an American film featuring a Hispanic family, Tortilla Soup.
What I found really interesting to read was that Chu had reached out to Weee! first. Given his family’s background, its no wonder that Chu has a connection to food. Food is obviously a very important part of cultural connection to any ethnicity, and it’ll be interesting to see what Chu comes up with at Weee! Maybe a YouTube webseries feature Weee! groceries centered around Asian and Hispanic families? Looking forward to seeing what comes out of this collaboration!