Kim Oanh - Wrap 'n Roll

The idea when I opened the first restaurant… was a passion for cooking, and a wish for a Vietnamese food chain with a basis in original Vietnamese food — that, when coupled with a modern concept, would be able to franchise like big brands all over the world.

 

My passion for nutritious gastronomy… came from a family that has been working in the restaurant business for three generations. I grew up in my grandmom and mom’s kitchen, hoping that I could do better than them — and nutritious food is a growing trend all over the world.

 

Wrap ‘n Roll is a great name because… it’s connected to the kind of food that we serve customers, sounds young and it’s an English name for a Vietnamese restaurant. It’s telling of the integration between [new tastes and] traditional food.

 

My concept… is my pride. The primary idea of this came to me from a one-year journey studying and researching rolls throughout Vietnam, and eight years of building a restaurant chain — and, looking to the future, a Vietnamese food brand.

 

In my restaurant, the dining experience… should give customers the feeling of enjoyment and sharing, [an experience which is also] indirectly ours. I always remember the first few days at the first Wrap ‘n Roll restaurant at 62 Hai Ba Trung [Q1, Ho Chi Minh City]. I just sat there for hours and watched the customers, their actions and the expressions on their faces, the gestures that accompany a good meal.

 

I am proud of my De Tham restaurant because… there are some prejudices when people invest in areas with a lot of tourists and backpackers. [Some feel] that it’s just a short-term investment, because these customers are not willing to pay much. But the sixth Wrap ‘n Roll has a nice eco-friendly design and is always crowded. I’m proud that I have contributed to building a better experience for tourists when they come to Vietnam and enjoy Vietnamese food in this area.

 

The expansion of my brand… is the natural result of our quality, a lack of MSG and preservatives, fresh rice noodles, clean vegetables and SAP standards. These beliefs are the foundation for us to continue expanding, coming closer to the people who are interested in fresh and healthy food.

 

Opening in Singapore… with three franchised restaurants opened in two years, in such a competitive market with strict food standards, has opened a new door for Wrap ‘n Roll to be accepted and welcomed by the world.

 

The arrival of fast food chains from overseas… gives me mixed feelings, but I’m encouraging of good investment and the efforts of other restaurant models.

 

My biggest challenge… is the struggle between family and career, like I’m on a seesaw, because my passion for Wrap ‘n Roll is too great.

 

The person I admire the most is… my mother, because of her relaxed, chilled-out nature in all circumstances and her lack of competitiveness. She sets a great example.

 

Life… is living to the fullest with your ambitions, not minding hardships and working your way to success no matter what.

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