You think marriage is the ultimate commitment? Bah! Try running a restaurant with your bae. These three dynamic duos not only share their lives together, they share their livelihoods — feeding Orlando delicious dishes truly made with love.
- Photo by Rob Bartlett
The restaurant: Saigon Noodle & Grill
The couple: Thuy "Vincent" & Thoi "Tudy" Nguyen
As a law student at Saigon University, Vincent traveled to New Orleans in 1984 for a meeting of the National Vietnamese Catholic Convention, where he met Tudy. They've been married for 30 years, have four children, and own and operate two locations of Saigon Noodle & Grill (the newest locale is on Bumby Avenue in the former Pho K5 space), which they started when Vincent immigrated to the United States.
"The biggest challenge is that we are both very competitive and sometimes we have to find ways to compromise and respect each other's ideas and opinions. But the most rewarding part is that we can always rely on each other and know that we can both put in 110 percent in order to be successful," Vincent says.
"We get to see and communicate with each other more and on a daily basis. We always find a way to resolve challenges as a team and because of that, our restaurant business grows stronger every day."
(Insider tip: Saigon Noodle & Grill has the best pho broth in town. We dare you to find better.)
While they both run the restaurant together, there's still a division of labor to some degree. Tudy takes care of the front-of-the-house dining room operations, while Vincent oversees the kitchen, marketing and public relations. Together, they manage the finances as well as train and manage the staff.
Even spending more than 40 hours a week together, they still find things to admire about each other. Vincent appreciates Tudy's guest savvy and "her ability to remember our customers' names and food preferences, while maintaining a clean and healthy environment." What Tudy loves about Vincent? "I admire Vincent because he is intelligent and knows how to make difficult business decisions. Three years ago, the Goldenrod location was struggling before we took over from the few previous owners, and in a short time we made a complete transformation under his leadership. He has a big vision and strong work ethic to make sure everything is running smoothly. He works hard and will not be at ease until a task or goal has been achieved."
Saigon Noodle & Grill, 710 S. Goldenrod Road, 407-658-1967, and 101 N. Bumby Ave., 407-532-7373, saigonnoodleandgrill.com