Min Ye | Proprietor
Restauranteur & Farmer
Min Ye has proven to be a talented Jill of all trades who has been successful in the numerous businesses she has pursued. A Yale graduate who began her career in investment banking, Min has co-founded a design school, achieved a certificate in classic French cuisine, and become a self-taught farmer, successful restaurateur, and avid speaker on women entrepreneurship and culinary endeavors. Min brings her versatile background to her current role as co-owner and COO of Smörgås Chef Restaurant Group. Co-founded with husband Morten Sohlberg in 2003, the group is now a successful multi-unit operation including two Smörgås Chef locations, three Crêpes du Nord locations, a catering business, as well as the newly introduced Blenheim restaurant. Min and Morten also own and operate Blenheim Hill Farm, a 150-acre historic farm in the Catskill Mountains that exclusively provides livestock and produce for the couple’s restaurants.
Prior to joining the restaurant industry, Min co-founded Sessions.edu with Morten, the world’s largest online college of design, now boasting 10,000 students from 140 countries. Min served as the school’s chief financial officer and grew the business from seed stage to its accreditation while securing several rounds of equity and debt financing. During this time, Min also served on the Business Standards Committee of Distance Education and Training Council in Washington D.C.
Min earned a degree in economics from Yale University and began her career in investment banking with UBS and Lehman Brothers, specializing in high yield securities and leveraged finance. She has also lived and studied in Paris and speaks fluent French. Before co-founding Smörgås Chef, she attended the French Culinary Institute in SoHo, obtaining the La Technique certificate in classic French cuisine.
She is a frequent speaker both as a leader in women entrepreneurship and culinary pursuits, having lectured on hospitality management, sustainability, women leadership, financing, and entrepreneurship at various forums, including the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, Pipeline Women Angel Fellowship Conference, and the Duke MBA Women’s Leadership Conference. Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Min relocated to the United States to attend Yale. She lives with her husband Morten and their three boys in New York City and at their farm in the Catskills.