Founder of Good and Golden
“Our goal for Good & Golden is to showcase Lao food’s unique flavors as well as educate people about the history influencing the cuisine.”
What's the name of your business and how did you come up with it?
Good and Golden LLC is our official business name. My mother’s name means the color of gold in Lao, and good food can lift my spirits any day. It made sense to combine these things in our food and culture business name. Also – a lot of my favorite foods when cooked to perfection have a delicious gold color to them. Not to mention, I love a good alliteration!
What are your inspirations for being in the food industry?
Our goal for Good & Golden is to showcase Lao food’s unique flavors as well as educate people about the history influencing the cuisine. We also believe that bringing people together over a meal can be incredibly healing for all at the table. I think working in the food industry has a lot of associations in terms of the kind of person you are, the spirit you need to be in the kitchen and so on, and I’m finding that at the core of it, it’s such. hard. work. mentally and physically. But the passion keeps you going. I’m inspired by the perseverance of my family, particularly my mother. I’m sure it wasn’t easy raising a family as refugees from Laos but her love and kindness showed through in the food that she made to sustain and nourish us.
What were some of your challenges being a Lao business?
At the very beginning, we worried that people would fear the unknown. There are quite a few Thai restaurants here in our town, Denton, but zero Lao food businesses. It can be a little scary to wander out of your comfort zone, so I was concerned that no one would try our food. I was 100% wrong and am so glad. One of our challenges is that we are new entrepreneurs; we both work fulltime outside of our food business so finding time to give to Good & Golden can sometimes be difficult.
What advice would you give to someone based on your experience?
Go for it. Just get started. Learn along the way. There’s nothing that you can’t figure out how to do with a little bit of research. Trust in your community and your network. If you’re being genuine and true to yourself and what you’re doing, giving it your all honestly, then who could fault you for that? And, rest when you are tired.
What's your favorite Lao dish?
Any noodle soup dish, hands down. It’s almost a tie between khao poon nam gai and khao piak sen. I make khao poon nam gai more often because it’s easier, but making the khao piak sen noodles from scratch is super fun!