Many Chinese food ingredients are made in a huge plant in Brooklyn

If you've eaten Chinese food or another Asian cuisine at a restaurant, chances are some of it has come from Wonton Food Inc. in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

"We have a very big percentage of the market share for the products we make," said Derrick Wong, the company's vice president of sales.

Those products include fresh noodles, crispy noodles, wonton wrappers, and egg roll skins as well as fortune cookies and bean sprouts. They're all sold under the brand name Golden Bowl.

The company was started by Wong's uncle in a basement in Chinatown in 1973. Today, it supplies products to restaurants across the country. The Bushwick facility, which spans almost an entire city block, counts some 400 employees, split between three shifts that keep the plant churning 24 hours a day to feed a hefty demand.

"We grow year by year," Wong said. "Right now, we have five plants: three in New York, one manufacturing plant in Houston, Texas, and one plant in Nashville, Tennessee." 

The fortune cookies are made at the company's Long Island City facility but ship out through the Brooklyn plant. Wong estimates 5 million cookies are produced daily.

Wonton Food keeps a "Chief Fortune Writer" on staff to come up with the fortune fillings. It happens to be Wong's brother James, who took over for the company's longtime fortune writer several years ago. 

"Right now, I think we have about 15,000 fortunes in the database," Derrick Wong said. "We're using about 5,000 every day."

From the fortune cookies to the fresh noodles, Wonton hopes to continue to grow to serve the world's ever-expanding appetite for Asian-inspired food.


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