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Meet the Founders

Meet the Founder: Eva Chow of KHEE Soju

Eva Chow of KHEE Soju

Eva Chow wanted to return to her roots. As Korean food and drinks became a larger part of her life, she wanted to create a bridge to her two worlds. KHEE was created to revive and uphold soju’s 13th century Korean heritage by brewing it in the most traditional form. KHEE premium soju is distilled with 100% rice and natural rock water collected from 150 meters underground. It then breathes in microporous Onggi earthenware for 180 days and is absolutely free from artificial additives. Eva collaborated with Master Soju Maker Hwayo to create an exclusive soju that has a smooth distinct fragrance that is complemented by an elegant finish with exceptional character.

This gluten-free, highly versatile spirit can be enjoyed straight up or mixed in your favorite cocktail. Its smooth natural quality makes it perfect for all cocktail recipes that call for vodka, tequila, or gin.

Recently, we caught up with Eva to learn more about her journey and hear her advice for fellow entrepreneurs.

KHEE lineup

1. Why did you start KHEE soju?

For many reasons — I left Korea as a young teenager and didn’t really spend much time in Korea until decades later. Once I started spending time there, Korean food and drinks became a big part of my life. Since I wanted to create a bridge to connect both worlds, it was very clear to me that the West needed to experience Soju, Korea’s national drink.

So, I created KHEE (氣) which means “energy” in Korean, resonating with my beliefs in good energy. KHEE is derived from my Korean name “HEE” and middle initial “K” to form KHEE. KHEE soju is distilled with 100% premium rice and natural rock water collected from 150 meters underground. We then let it breathe in microporous Onggi earthenware for 180 days without any artificial additives. My goal was to create an exclusive quality soju that has a smooth and unique fragrance and elegant finish.

2. What obstacles did you face along the way?

The biggest obstacle is to let the U.S. consumers know what soju is. Most of the American people who know about soju and few who have had it, are only familiar with diluted soju, not a distilled premium soju such as KHEE. Educating consumers and getting them not to pigeonhole soju as just for Korean food. Similar to how one wouldn’t drink vodka only with Russian food, KHEE soju can make excellent yet simple highball cocktails, as well as any signature more elaborate cocktail recipes. It is completely versatile and there are no rules when curating a cocktail with KHEE. And of course, it’s great straight!

Bartender serving KHEE

3. What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Being a minority woman, I have faced many difficulties along the way but one thing that always made me get through the uncertain times is hard work, perseverance, not giving up or second guessing your ideas, and keeping focus on your vision.

4. What’s on the horizon for KHEE?

Since the launch of KHEE soju during 2021 in Seoul, KHEE has expanded to the U.S. market in California,Florida, Indiana, Nevada and New York in 2023. The goal is to expand to the rest of the country and become a trusted soju brand that is enjoyed by all.

KHEE served in rocks glass

5. How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?

I am always being inspired by cultures, places, and all things beautiful. Times spent with my daughter and friends are priceless. I spend my time traveling and working, while having fun doing both. I do as much as I can as best as I can, my personal best, in all things.

Meet the Founder