June 6, 2018
Small Business Stories: Lemongrass Bistro
In our “Small Business Stories” series, we hit the road to interview small business owners about their unique journeys. Each story provides inspiration and insights while shining a spotlight on the passionate small business owners who are so critical to our economies and our communities.
Growing up, Becky Pheng and her sister, Linda, dreaded helping their parents at their restaurant. But later in life, after graduating from business school, they knew they wanted to have a business of their own. After many conversations on the topic, opening a restaurant seemed like the most logical answer, since their parents had owned a restaurant and their mom was a cook at the time.
In August of 2009, they opened Lemongrass Bistro in Martinez, California. Their food is described as “Thai fusion,” less spicy and overwhelming than authentic Thai food and more fresh and healthy since their clientele tends to be more health conscious. Becky credits her mom, Buon, as being the heart and soul of the business. She prepares all the sauces and helps keep everything running. Her sauces are so popular, that one day, their goal is to market them.
After coming to America with only 20 dollars in hand and not even knowing the language, Becky’s parents area a pure example of living the American dream, but as Becky noted, it hasn’t always been easy, but their parents worked hard to help Becky and Linda build their business and for that, she’s grateful.