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BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES

Thai Orchid

Carrie Cha, owner of Thai Orchid restaurant, obtained her first job at the age of thirteen, working as a busgirl in a Chinese restaurant. The work environment was so positive, and she felt so well-treated by her employers that she continued to work there into her early twenties. She moved on to obtain her Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University. Then, post-graduation she gained experience working in various job sectors including recruitment, medical billing and insurance, and most recently at a realty company in the Twin Cities. However, throughout her different careers, her fond memories of her first job stayed with her. Now in her current position as restaurant owner, she makes a point to give her employees a meal for every shift that they work, just as her first employers did for her.

Thai Orchid is a dine-in restaurant, with carry-out services, which specializes in Thai cuisine. In the process of creating her business Cha faced certain challenges such as registering Thai Orchid, as well as figuring out which inspections and licenses were necessary in order to operate the restaurant. Western Dairyland proved to be a valuable resource in addressing these concerns. Through meeting with a Business Development Specialist she was able to receive one-on-one help in navigating the different websites involved in registering her business. Additionally, she remarks, “Because of the Business Development Specialist’s thoroughness, I was literally able to follow step-by-step how to go to each local government agency to get inspections scheduled and completed, as well as to get required licenses.” Another significant aspect of her work with the Women's Business Center included obtaining referrals for who to reach out to with specific concerns. One such referral was a payroll and accounting firm that Cha still refers to and finds useful today. Ultimately, her experience with Western Dairyland provided Cha with the invaluable confidence to move forward with her restaurant.

Thai Orchid’s success and impact is evident. They employ one full-time and eight part-time employees. As well, the numbers they accrued within their first month of business were so impressive that their accountants had to verify that they originated from only one month of activity.  

Looking to the future, Cha would like to foster improved sales in order to facilitate renovation and expansion, as well as to allow for participation in more community events. To achieve increased sales, she designs to incorporate more specials and also to introduce new dishes to Thai Orchid’s menu. Needless to say, Cha has come a long way since her first job, and now looks to enjoy the process of expanding her own successful restaurant. 

Keep up to date with Thai Orchid by following their Facebook page. 

 

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