"I started doing more stuff in the nonprofit space, especially with inner city youth and incarcerated folks. Me being a native of Oakland, I wanted to do stuff where Oakland natives and Oakland folks can enjoy the food."
BanhMi-Ni was born that offers a creative menu of Vietnamese sandwiches.
"I'm a really big fan of street food. I really enjoy eating with my hands more than eating on a plate and silverware. Banh mi, like myself, is a third-culture product as well, too. You have the French and the Vietnamese, and that comes together and you get banh mi. Without either, you wouldn't have banh mi. I can fold other 'nontraditional, non-authentic' things into that."
A hero roll for bread is used, which is similar to the bread you'd find on a Mexican torta. The bread then gets pressed like a panini, and the sandwich is served warm - the origin of BanhMi-Ni's name.
"I love banh mi, but I hate all the crumbs that it creates when you eat a banh mi. It kind of gets everywhere. In this sandwich concept, I wanna throw [out] all the rules and just have a good time — as long as the cultural identity of banh mi is still there."