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Community Highlights: Meet Thao Roth (Smokin Beauty)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Thao Roth (Smokin Beauty).

Thao & Matt get married. Matt having a background in Texas bbq, Thao being Vietnamese, they had the genius idea of fusing the two to come up with Ted’s Farm food truck. The main feature being the brisket Banh mi. Then only a short year & about 5,000 Banh Mi’s later, they signed a lease to open a brick & mortar. Then Covid hits. Having our arms tied to a lease, we pushed forward & opened the bar in Aug 2020, amid the worst time to open a restaurant. But sure enough, Austin was super supportive of our decision and we had lines out the door for three days straight selling out of brisket everyday.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Opening up during covid has been a rollercoaster. 2020 and the beginning of 2021 has not been nice, with being hit with the second wave and the ice storm. But, we believe in what we are doing and our guests, neighbors, and community have been extremely supportive. We are so excited for what is to come. If we survived all of this, we are up for anything. Bring it!

As you know, we’re big fans of Smokin Beauty. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We are Austin’s first Vietnamese fusion restaurant in town & we serve some damn good Texas bbq to go with it! The brisket Banh mi is easily our biggest seller, however the Pork Belly is our secret weapon. Highly recommended by all who know 😉

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Friends with business advice were our first mentors when speaking of opening a brick & mortar. The owners of Pho Please were huge in helping us round out our ideas and put them into action! And of course having a consultant get us through the tedious kitchen inspection with the city was super important in getting us open on time. Henry from Food Pro Restaurant Consulting was, and still is, a huge help in the creation and implementing of our creative process! I’d recommend him to any entrepreneur stepping into the restaurant industry.

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