On a housing complex wall in Ho Chi Minh City, an anonymous story plays out in a parade of changing faces. Emma Roy-Williams ponders the thought behind these solitary thinkers. Photos by Kyle Phanroy
From spunky teenager making customers laugh at Le Pub to bar owner and champion bartender, Pham Tien Tiep is the epitome of the rags-to-riches success story. And more is still to come. Words by Katie Jacobs. Photos by David Harris
While the fame of her singer sister, Le Cat Trong Ly, grows at an exponential rate, Le Cat Tien has chosen a different, more grounded path. Owner, singer and main attraction of Nep Café, she’s one of the people keeping the peace in Danang. Photo by Nick Ross
Hanoi-based social enterprise, Betterday, sells anything from organic green tea to coffee, natural beauty products and organic spices. Owner Nguyen Tuyet Minh explains how her business is able to focus on fair trade and organic produce, a rarity in Vietnam. Photo by David Harris
When we think about artists, we typically imagine quirky individuals who fearlessly march to their own beats, immune to the stresses of the nine-to-five grind. They are introduced to us on magazine covers and at gallery openings.
The idea when I opened the first restaurant… was a passion for cooking, and a wish for a Vietnamese food chain with a basis in original Vietnamese food — that, when coupled with a modern concept, would be able to franchise like big brands all over the world.
If last year’s market entry of Starbucks can be viewed as a prototype, then by the time you read this piece there will have been extraordinary queues outside McDonald’s. Using the Drive-Thru model to enter the Vietnamese market, images of motorbike logjams trailing back down Saigon’s Dien Bien Phu come to mind.