When Ann and Janet Chung were growing up in Texas in the '70s, "being Korean was unusual." So the sisters are thrilled that Korean food is gaining a foothold in mainstream food culture. "When we see kimchi in an American supermarket, it just knocks our socks off," Ann says.
Generally, though, Korean food is still something that people go out to eat, "We throw a lot of Korean barbecue parties, and we thought it would be great if we made Korean barbecue something people could make at home," Ann explains. They called the business We Rub You because, as it says on their label, "the Korean alphabet lacks a distinct L/R or V/B, so 'We Rub You' is a cute way to say 'We Love You.'"
They've launched the business with two marinades: the original flavor, a sweet, soy-based sauce that is traditionally used with beef, and a spicy variety, which is more often used with chicken or pork. But there's no reason not to switch up which proteins are used with which sauce, Ann says. Their customers report plenty of even less traditional uses: with codfish, as the seasoning for beef jerky, or as the basis for stir-fried noodle dishes.
It's a phenomenon that delights the Chung sisters. "Our business is about the friendship of Korean culture, American culture, and the merging of the two," Ann explains, adding, "It's our mission to make the Korean word for friend, chingoo, as well known as amigo."