Through our Customer Service in Culinary Training at The Kitchen, youth gain valuable workplace skills, exposure to culinary career pathways, build their network, develop a resume, and complete training and internship experience, all while being supported in an inclusive and youth-friendly environment.

We’d like to share with you this Q&A Session with Dung “G” Tran, owner of Banh Meee, a community partner committed to nurturing our youth’s skills through internship opportunities and employment.

Can you share a little bit about your business?
Banh Meee is a fast casual Vietnamese restaurant with a focus on noodles and banh mi which is the Vietnamese version of a sandwich. (To learn more and view menu click here.)

What initially drew you to want to be a part of FCW mission?
I thought it was a great program that helps inner city youth find a path to a career. I believe that mentoring is very important and I believe Banh Meee is a good place for youth to learn skills they would later use as a adults.

What have you found to be the most rewarding about our partnership?
The most rewarding part is when I see a person learn something that they didn’t expect to learn.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that youth today face?
Not being given the opportunity to grow and learn.

How has your business been impacted by the pandemic?
Our business has been impacted. We had to close our first store and cut the hours of our current team. Our business is down about 60% to 70% of where it should be.

Despite the challenges you are currently facing, your support of the youth in our programs is unwavering. Can you share why it is important to you to continue working with us in providing opportunities to youth?
Business is about profit but you don’t have to make profit to teach. We understand that because of COVID we will have a losing year (2020) but that doesn’t stop us from teaching and being mentors.

Why should others support FCW mission in providing job training and food access programs to the community?
Everyone should be given the chance to learn. Most of the time it takes time and effort from the business and mentors, but if we don’t teach the next generation then our community will never improve.