누나 - NOONA
NOONA means “big sister” in Korean.
At Noona’s Ice Cream, we’re proud to be the first ice cream company in the United States to offer a collection of Korean inspired ice cream flavors. Our flavors are a bridge between tradition and innovation, and inspired by the cultural connectedness and culinary history of Korean cuisine that has brought us together and makes us smile.
Queens native Hannah Bae founded the company by entering Hot Bread Kitchen’s Incubator Program in the Spring of 2016. After graduating the program and sharing her Korean inspired ice cream flavors at local markets such as Hester St Fair and Governors Island, Noona’s Ice Cream quickly became a crowd favorite. With a successful start, Bae was able to move production to a bigger kitchen in Brooklyn and is growing the company steadily and sustainably.
The mission of Noona's Ice Cream is woven into the name of the company. The word noona (누나) means "older sister" in the Korean language. Younger siblings, cousins, and family friends use noona as a term of endearment and sign of respect. In the Korean culture, an older sister is responsible for mentoring, nurturing, and caring for younger family members. Bae's goal is to build an ice cream company that celebrates culture and family, while instituting a Big Sister mentorship program for employees who want to become food entrepreneurs.
Growing up, I remember when my younger brother Jonathan would run straight home from his friend's house if he knew I was cooking. Noona's Ice Cream comes from the pride I have from Jonathan looking up to me. I feel a similar sense of responsibility and joy reimagining the flavors of my youth for Noona's Ice Cream. To me, the word noona stands for everything I am passionate about: family and food.
- Hannah Bae, Founding Noona/누나