Meet Marguerite Zabar Mariscal: The CEO Behind the Restaurant Empire Momofuku

Fashion

Welcome toSecond Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode gives you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts to stay tuned.

If you’re interested in the culinary scene—be it fast-casual or fine dining—chances are you’ve heard of the restaurant group and phenomenon Momofuku. Founded by David Chang, a six-time James Beard Foundation award winner, in 2004, it all started with Momofuku Noodle Bar in the heart of the East Village in Manhattan. The innovative restaurant set a new tone in the food and hospitality industries, influencing peers with creative cuisines, refreshing design, and an undoubted cool-kid atmosphere. Today, Marguerite Zabar Mariscal is the CEO leading Momofuku into the modern era. 

Inside the culinary empire, which now includes outposts in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Zabar Mariscal has been proving her indispensable value since 2011, when she started as an intern. Zabar Mariscal climbed the corporate ladder within the company, growing from brand director to chief of staff to creative director to CEO by the age of 30. As the CEO,  Zabar Mariscal led the business amid the pandemic when restaurants were put to the ultimate test. She launched the consumer-packaged-goods company Momofuku Goods to bring restaurant-grade pantry essentials into the homes of consumers. Proving the demand was certainly there, the company made its first million dollars within 70 days of launching and has experienced 130% year-over-year growth for its dynamic range of products, from chili oil to ramen noodles. Today, Momofuku Goods can be found in over 2000 retailers, including esteemed destinations like Whole Foods and Target, and is launching a brand-new product this month.

It comes as no surprise that Zabar Mariscal is at the helm of a burgeoning culinary brand, as the food industry runs in her blood. Her family founded the specialty-foods emporium Zabar’s, yet when she began her professional career journey, she was actually encouraged to pursue a different path from her family and played with the idea of working in the media and product space.

Listen to the latest episode of Second Life to hear how Zabar Mariscal has exponentially grown within a single brand over the last 12 years and how she continues to push the brand forward in an evolving industry. Keep scrolling to shop some of Momofuku Goods’ tastiest best sellers. 

Next: How Susan Korn of Susan Alexandra Built a Brand That Sparks Joy

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