Annie Ryu is the founder and CEO of The Jackfruit Company and Global Village Fruit, Inc. (GVF). Annie founded GVF in the summer of 2011, while working in India to implement a maternal and child healthcare program that she and her brother had developed. In discovering jackfruit, Annie saw an incredible opportunity to convert an underutilized crop to nutritious, delicious food, and income and opportunity for farming families. Annie worked to build GVF during her junior and senior years at Harvard, simultaneously winning Harvard’s Women in Business Competition, Harvard’s i3 Innovation Challenge, and the Resolution Project’s Social Venture Challenge, and being recognized as a Global Good Fund Fellow, an Honorary Fellow at the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT, and one of Glamour’s Top 10 College Women.
Graduating first in her class in 2013 (Sophia Freund Prize), Annie declined the Fulbright Fellowship and the Rockefeller Fellowship to work full-time building Global Village Fruit. In 2015, Annie and her team launched The Jackfruit Company. After introducing four retail products in September 2015, The Jackfruit Company won the NEXTY Editor’s Choice Award at Expo East. Now the global leader for jackfruit products and farm-to-market supply chains, The Jackfruit Company’s retail products are available at retailers from coast to coast. The Jackfruit Company also launched a bulk foodservice product which can be found on restaurant and university menus nationwide. In recognition of her work, Annie was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for Social Entrepreneurs in January 2017. In July 2017, Annie and her team introduced exciting innovation to the frozen fruit aisle with the launch of frozen ripe jackfruit to grocery stores. In 2018, TJC launched frozen single jackfruit entrée bowls, offering jackfruit in a convenient, ready-to-eat format with a complete nutritional profile. In 2019, the company’s first shelf-stable jackfruit products will hit the marketplace.
Before attending Harvard and launching Global Village Fruit, Annie grew up in Rochester, MN (18 years). She graduated as valedictorian of Mayo High School, where she served as President of the Student Government, President of the Spanish Club, captain (state champion ‘09) of the varsity tennis team, and concertmaster (4 years) of the orchestra. She currently resides in Boulder, CO.