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Omaha Magazine

Owner/Operator Kanta (Joy) Chumphuanghiran and daughter Xena

May 29, 2020 02:31PM ● By Tara Spencer

Kanta Chumphuanghiran
Owner/Operator
Thai Street Food (Former Laos Thai Restaurant)

Kanta Chumphuanghiran, who goes by Joy, took over Laos Thai Restaurant in January 2020. The 28-year-old said she received her associate’s degree at I-TIM Culinary School in Bangkok, Thailand. But most of her experience comes from working in family restaurants.

“I love to cook and love to see whoever is eating my food is enjoying [my cooking] and happy,” she said.

After Joy took over, the new restaurant was closed for a few months for renovation. The health department required several changes, including the equipment. 

“We had planned to open the business on March 5, 2020,” she said. They were open for little more than a week before they had to shut the doors due to the pandemic. While they couldn’t do a full-on opening, they decided to do takeout and delivery.

They were using third parties such as Uber, Doordash, and Grubhub for delivery. However, Joy added, it is not ideal. “We work harder and our expenses are greater, but the profit is less. The cost of [the] delivery fee is way over our budget. But it is better than doing nothing.” 

Joy has a daughter, Xena (yes, like the warrior princess), who is in kindergarten. For Joy, making the restaurant a success is something she wants to do for her daughter. “I dedicate myself to this restaurant a lot,” she said. “I can not give up, and I won’t. I want Xena to be proud of me. I am a fighter.”

This article was printed in the June 2020 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.