Startup Stories Series: Co-Founder & CEO of Mercado Famous, Aaron Luo

Aaron Luo is the mastermind behind the Spanish delicacy and gourmet food brand, Mercado Famous, and luxury design house, CARAA. In this episode, he shares his entrepreneurial journey and how his diverse background spanning finance, fashion, and food shaped his approach to founding and running his successful ventures. 

We discuss navigating the challenges of expanding your business to international markets, go-to-market branding, how to sustain running multiple ventures while avoiding burnout, and Aaron’s journey of how passion, innovation, and love for food and people converge to create an extraordinary brand. 

Here’s What We Discussed

  • [00:55] The story behind Mercado Famous and the go-to-market branding journey
  • [10:00] How Madrid has influenced Mercado – Spanish charcuterie and the beauty of enjoying amazing company over delicious food 
  • [14:04] From Finance to Fashion to Food – How Aaron uses his diverse background and transferable skills to be a better entrepreneur   
  • [21:00] Advice for founders venturing into International Markets and the importance of a solid supply chain 
  • [29:38] Aaron’s tips for successfully managing CARAA and Mercado Famous through financial planning, hiring, and work-life balance 
  • [37:48] Aaron’s favorite Mercado Famous charcuteries  

About Aaron 

Aaron Luo is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mercado Famous, a European gourmet food brand specializing in Spanish delicacies. He is also the CEO and Co-Founder of CARAA, a luxury accessories design house based in New York City. With a background in global supply chain and operations, Aaron is dedicated to redefining luxury functional fashion. He has a passion for sharing the best of Spain with the world through Mercado Famous and creating well-made, versatile accessories at CARAA. 



“Even if I had the best idea in the world, as an entrepreneur, if ultimately I don’t know how to operate a business, I’m not going to be successful.” – Aaron Lao

“Corporate in general, but specifically GE, helped me understand the power of people… How important the function of human resources is and how important it is to build a pipeline, grow your people, and hire right.” – Aaron Lao

“If you don’t have supply chain lockdown, you don’t have a business, no matter how strong your idea is.” – Aaron Lao 

“When you’re selling a product, and you have a shaky supply chain, your risk of failure is very, very high.” – Aaron Lao 

“You don’t have a business unless you have a solid supply chain. The effectiveness of your supply chain can help you drive your cost down, improve your product quality, and can save you a lot of headaches in terms of recalls or defects.” – Aaron Lao

“As a business, no matter how small or big you are, if you don’t have the right level of financial planning on a monthly or quarterly basis, you are very much handicapped.” – Aaron Lao 

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