Story

Kimchi Hot Sauce Market Mama Halla

After moving to the U.K. and observing the lack of high-quality Korean products, I resolved to make natural Korean condiments – free from artificial ingredients – available to British food lovers.

I wanted to create mouthwatering, versatile products, based on authentic recipes that use the finest Korea-sourced ingredients.

MAMA HALLA originates from my home island, Jeju-do; a part of Korea famed for its unique natural landscapes and spirit.  There, my grandmother was a haenyeo, Jeju-do’s renowned community of fiercely independent, resilient, and courageous women divers. For centuries, haenyeo have practiced a form of free diving for seafood, earning their own income in the process.

So, moved both by this spirit and the recipes that my grandmother left behind, with MAMA HALLA I aim to enable everyone to experience and enjoy the taste of Korea, healthily.

Mi-sook, Founder

P.S. I always love to hear feedback, including how you are using our products. Please tag us in your posts or get in touch via email or social media!

our name

Our name, MAMA HALLA, speaks to the history and mythology of Jeju-do’s Halla Mountain, and the abiding importance of women throughout Jeju’s history. It is deeply rooted in the place that I grew up, Jeju-do.

Jeju-do is a young volcanic island, formed only 2 million ago by the eruption of a still-active volcano today known as Halla Mountain. Eruptions of Halla Mountain over millennia have indelibly marked Jeju’s, with a landscape characterised by abundant basalt, lava, lush green vegetation, and cone vents.

But it is Halla Mountain itself that is omnipresent, embodying a dependable point of reference for navigation and having a strong hold over islanders’ sense of identity. 

The importance of women on Jeju-do – one of the island’s so-called ‘three abundances’ – is born both of a unique culture and of tragedy.

Jeju’s renowned haenyeo (‘sea women’) form close-knit free diver collectives made up today only of women. For centuries, this highly challenging profession has provided Jeju’s women a route to social and economic participation in an otherwise relatively patriarchal society.

More tragically, following the Jeju Uprising in the 1940s, during which around 10% of the island’s population (principally male) was killed, Jeju was left with a high proportion of women. This dark period in Jeju’s history affected every family in Jeju; the legacy of which remains manifest in the island’s demography.

Mama Halla Jeju-do mountain