Customers can't get enough of new Vietnamese bakery's food
THE OWNERS of a newly-opened business are overwhelmed at the support shown by the community during the first month of operation, with its mouth-watering food converting one unconventional customer in particular.
Saigon Bakehouse opened in East Ipswich during mid-September, with the owners identifying the area as one in need of a quality bakery for hungry customers.
Their decision has paid off.
As well as traditional baked goods like pies, sausage rolls and bread, the bakery sells Vietnamese delicacies like banh mi and rice paper rolls, which are flying out of the cabinets.
Any leftover food is donated to the Salvation Army.
Managing director Van Nguyen worked as a pharmacist in Ipswich before giving it up eight years ago to dive head first into the food industry.
The 35-year-old splits his time between five bakeries - this one at Jacaranda St, and also Brisbane, Redlands and Beaudesert.
In their first week of trade, Saigon Bakehouse offered a 10 per cent discount on all products but Mr Nguyen said some people offered to pay full price to support the fledging establishment.
One local customer turned her back on 30 years of vegetarianism and tucked into a meat pie.
"It's really amazed me how friendly people are," he said.
"People are very supportive. It feels like a great countryside town, like Beaudesert, people are very connected to each other.
"It's the right food, the right service and also decent seating for the customers to enjoy. People need a good set up so they can spend time with their friends. Some days you come inside and there's no seating inside and outside.
"Last Saturday, it was a bit of a rainy day... we couldn't keep up. It's constant, constant, constant."
The bakery employs 10 people. Mr Nguyen said he worked for his uncle in his Forest Lake bakery while studying pharmacy at university, a career path he was pushed towards by his parents.
"This will be the first one built under (the name) Saigon Bakehouse," he said.
"Anything in the future will get that name. Hopefully the first one goes smoothly, then all the next ones will too. That's what people say in Asia."
"You have to love what you do and when you love what you do, you will get the most out of it.
"My parents are very comfortable now seeing that I made the right decision, even though they still think I'm choosing the much harder work to do.
"You have the chance to choose your own working hours and you do what you love and you can build a team on your own. We're building a team.
"There are a few juniors we are training. Some are really keen to learn."