The goal of this Kickstarter project is to fund the completion of a food trailer serving Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese food. Bai will serve delicious and healthy food locally in Bozeman at various locations and throughout western Montana at festivals and farmer's markets.
The Bai menu will be diverse and affordable in the tradition of street food around the world. The trailer has already been purchased but I still need commercial kitchen equipment.
Cooking has always been a big part of family life in Cambodia. When I was a child, my mom and I sold food in front of a clothing factory near Phnom Penh. We didn’t get a lot of money but it was popular and something we could do to survive. When I turned 13, my father left my mother, so she had to take care of my brother, sister and I by herself.
During Cambodia’s many holidays, my family would prepare great meals and bring them to the pagodas to give to the monks and sell to the people. My mom has always been a good cook and she’s taught me everything I know.
There is a popular road in Siem Reap called “Street 60” where many food vendors go. My mom and grandma went there to sell Banh Chiao, which is a light and savory pork filled rice crepe. It’s difficult to prepare but everyone loved it.
Cambodian cuisine is characterized by contrasts: fresh and cooked, sweet, sour and salty. It uses fresh vegetables and doesn’t rely on tons of fat or frying. I think it’s different from Thai food in this way. During the Khmer Rouge, Cambodian cuisine was nearly lost, but now it’s making a comeback, becoming popular in New York and around the world.
In order to bring Cambodian to Montana, I need your help. I’ve already purchased the trailer so your pledges will be used to purchase commercial kitchen equipment and get the trailer ready for business.
I want to reward you, my backers, for believing in me and Cambodian food, so every dollar pledged will be returned, doubled, in the form of a punch card redeemable for menu items from the Bai trailer. For example, if you pledge $25, you’ll get $50 worth of food. You are basically just buying gift cards for Cambodian food before the trailer is ready. Your pledges will be doubled as my way of saying thank you.
For pledges of $200 or more, I will bring the Bai trailer to your home or business and cater a dinner for you and 5 of your friends. I’ll take care of everything. This is a significant discount on catering prices once the trailer is open for business.
If you want to support this project but don’t live in Montana, or know someone who does, pledge $25 and I’ll send you an authentic Cambodian krama scarf. These kramas are hand loomed and great for spring or fall.
I feel very fortunate to live in the United States, and I want to form a non-profit organization to help women and children in Cambodia. I plan to use the Bai food trailer to raise awareness of issues faced by women in home country and to raise funds for projects there. By supporting this Kickstarter project, you will not just be helping to bring Cambodian food to Montana, but also helping those in need in Cambodia.
Risks and challenges
Every new business has risk, and starting Bai is no exception. With that out of the way, let me assure you that this food trailer is my life. I am putting everything I have into this business.
Right now, funding is the biggest challenge. For Health Department approval I need to purchase commercial restaurant equipment which is expensive. I've already been in contact with the Gallatin County Health Dept. and know exactly what needs to be done to be compliant.
I don't want to just ask for money with this Kickstarter project, which is why I've created rewards which give back as much as received. Once the Bai food trailer is up and running, I know that I owe everything to you, my backers. That's a responsibility I don't take lightly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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