Good morning, Broadsheet readers! CVS has completed a $8 billion deal with Signify Health, the Biden administration is bringing Women’s Business Centers to every state, and Momofuku’s CEO guides the restaurant’s expansion into CPG. Have a great Thursday.
– Ready to order. Momofuku, the popular restaurant group, raised $17.5 million in funding in a round led by Siddhi Capital earlier this month for its consumer packaged goods spinoff, Momofuku Goods. Founded by chef David Chang, Momofuku has another name at the helm of this expansion: CEO Marguerite Zabar Mariscal.
Mariscal joined Momofuku as an intern in 2011 and ascended the ranks over the past decade, becoming CEO at 30 years old in 2019. She saw opportunity for the Momofuku brand beyond its restaurants; 90% of Momofuku and Chang’s combined Instagram followers lived in cities where the company doesn’t operate restaurants, she noticed.
When those restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles closed during the pandemic, she started to get serious about those ideas—earlier in her tenure than she might have otherwise. “As a young CEO…having the courage and conviction to do it that soon into my job, it might have taken me a couple years [without the pandemic],” she says. “But it expedited a lot of decisions that otherwise would have been belabored.”
Momofuku introduced home-cooking products including noodle kits and chili crisp. Mariscal brought on a new staff of 16 to run the CPG side of the business, the company’s first time hiring a corporate workforce. That in turn affected how Momofuku thinks about its restaurant staff and their pay and benefits. “It makes you question why things are the way they are on the restaurant side,” she says. The company’s ultimate, but lofty, goal is to provide the “same benefits as working at Google” to restaurant staff.
Mariscal says she never particularly wanted to be a CEO or even to enter the food industry. She comes from the family that founded Zabar’s, New York’s famous Upper West Side food store. “My grandfather would always complain about the slim margins and working on holidays,” she remembers. Her parents followed different paths as an architect and lawyer, but neither went far; her father was the architect for Zabar’s and her mother later wrote a book about the store.
Coming from an 89-year-old family business influences how Mariscal runs Momofuku in partnership with Chang. She asks: “How are we building something that can last?”
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ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- A billion for women. Vice President Kamala Harris has announced a nearly $1 billion initiative aimed at eliminating gender inequality in Africa, with $528 million to support economic well-being and $400 million dedicated to getting more women in the digital economy. Companies such as Visa, MasterCard, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, and Pfizer have contributed to the initiative. Bloomberg
- CVS expansion. CVS Health has completed its $8 billion acquisition of Signify Health. CEO and president Karen Lynch said the deal will bring care to consumers' homes as CVS aims to make care more affordable and accessible, especially for Medicare patients. Yahoo Finance
- More money for families. South Korea is boosting investment to try to buoy falling fertility rates. It will now provide families $770 monthly for the first year of a baby's life, up from the $230 it was already providing. The country has spent nearly $200 billion overall in initiatives to encourage more families to have babies. Quartz
- An economy for women. A study by Heather McCulloch, entrepreneur-in-residence at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program and the founder of Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap, shows that women across racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender expression identities are in consensus on their biggest economic problems. Inflation and not being able to cover housing and living costs are the top challenges, according to the study. The top solutions were flexible work schedules, funding to cover rising costs of living, and the ability to work remotely. The 19th
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Citigroup hired Credit Suisse managing director Sophie van Kleef for its European consumer team. Centene has named Tanya McNally as its senior vice president and chief people officer. Real estate company Hines has promoted Crystal Castille-Cromedy to chief diversity officer.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Nationwide Women's Business Centers. The Biden administration is opening 15 more Women's Business Centers aimed at supporting and educating women entrepreneurs and business owners. The expansion will put one in every state and Puerto Rico, as well as triple the number of WBCs held within minority institutions such as HBCUs. Inc.
- Diversifying clinical trials. Startup Inato is aiming to bring diverse patients into clinical trials. Many clinical trials already struggle to get enough patients, and the trials are often concentrated at large academic hospitals that don't represent the diversity in the greater population. The marketplace model that connects trials to community hospitals also stands to benefit diverse communities that could get early access to cutting-edge treatments. Fast Company
- Audit watchdogs. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is considering cutting the time auditors have to submit documentation by more than 50%, giving the watchdog agency more time to provide information to investors. Chair Erica Williams said this will help further protections for investors. Wall Street Journal
- Basketball leadership. For many Black female athletes, having a Black woman as a coach was critical for navigating the game and life. While the number of Black women coaches has increased among collegiate sports in recent years, it still is not fully representative. For example, the women's NCAA basketball league is made up of 30% Black athletes, and only 12% of head coaches are Black women. Associated Press
ON MY RADAR
The worst year of your career begins when you become a boss Time
Emily Henry cracked the modern romance novel Vulture
The infinite gay joy of Boygenius Them
Reintroducing Ali Wong The Cut
"It’s not how smart you are, it’s how are you smart?"
—Jane Wurwand, founder of Dermalogica, on why her waxing skills give her confidence in business meetings
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