Establishments: Red Mango, the fast-growing all-natural fro-yo concept with more than 60 units in the U.S.
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
What he’s done: Having founded Red Mango in South Korea in 2003 and driven it to the number-one position in the natural, authentic frozen-yogurt market there, Kim opened the first U.S. outpost, in L.A., in July 2007. Aiming for a more upscale, experience-driven niche than the competition’s, with a product touting “real” yogurt flavor and probiotic benefits, Kim tapped a nerve sharpened by growing health and wellness concerns and an economy that favors affordable treats.
His latest accomplishment: “We want to be very disruptive to the frozen dessert marketplace,” says Kim, with new products—such as smoothies, probiotic iced tea and granola-topped parfaits—and additional platforms, including self-service kiosks.
Why we like him: Because he is a marketing whiz with a razor-sharp appreciation of brand strategy.
What gets his creative juices flowing: “I love creating things that create a positive impact on people’s lives… I love making them happy,” he says. “Watching people in a Red Mango is really exciting to me, and frozen yogurt is just the first step. Our concept allows us to go beyond that product line and give people what they want.