At the age of 29, Huong “CoCo” Thien Tran fled Saigon, Vietnam with her family just as the communist regime was taking over. Their journey to make it to the United States took them through Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and Guam. They came to Louisville to join her brother who was studying at the University of Louisville’s JB Speed School of Engineering at the time.
One day, while sitting at a McDonald’s with her sponsor, she has an epiphany, she could create a “fast food” restaurant with foods from Vietnam, and the Egg Roll Machine restaurant was born! Since then Ms. Tran has opened a second location for the Egg Roll Machine, as well as Café Mimosa, Zen Garden, and most recently Roots and Heart & Soy. Her passion her vegetarian lifestyle has helped to usher in a new age of vegetarian and vegan cuisine here in Louisville. She even imported a tofu machine from Taiwan because there wasn’t a local provider.
Ms. Tran also has a passion for giving back to the community that welcomed her family and has supported them for all these years. “I came here with nothing and received so much help from this country and this city. When you lose your country, you need people. It is the people who made the difference for me”, Ms. Tran recently told StyleBlueprint. Every year she hosts a customer appreciation event the day before Thanksgiving and any donations made on that day she gives to local charities. She also has mentored other entrepreneurs and supports the Vietnamese Community of Louisville in any way that she can.
Please join us on May 18th at the Hyatt Regency for the 2017 Mosaic Awards a dinner event recognizing new or first-generation immigrants and refugees who are making a significant contribution to their profession and our local and global community. Ms. Tran and the other honorees will receive the MOSAIC Award, which symbolizes Multicultural Opportunities for Success and Achievement In our Community. For more information visit: www.jfcslouisville.org/mosaic-awards
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