April 4, 2023
The Vuong family along with city adn area economic development officials celebrate the ribbon cutting for China House Cafe last week in Truman, Minn. (Contributed photo)

Truman, Minn. (June 18, 2018) — Immigrant families continue to be a driving economic force throughout the country. Examples of successful immigrant-owned businesses can be found throughout large
cities and in small town America as well.

Recently in the small town of Truman, Minn,, Johnny Vuong and his wife Jialing, a Chinese immigrant family, were able to purchase the building that once housed the Truman Café for one dollar and begin their journey as entrepreneurs and restaurateurs with the China House Café. The opportunity was made possible through a creative collaborative economic development effort.

Vuong came to the United States in the 1980s and settled in the Los Angeles area. He and his wife relocated to Minnesota in 2000 to be closer to their daughter who was attending college in Iowa. Like many immigrant families, the Vuongs have an entrepreneurial spirit and the dedication to make their dreams a reality in the United States.

With over 25 years of restaurant and management experience, Vuong was looking for an opportunity to open his own restaurant. A chance remark to his realtor started a process that eventually allowed him to bring that dream closer to coming true.

With the assistance of several economic development organizations, the family was given the unique opportunity to purchase the vacant building for one dollar and obtain further financial assistance to remodel and purchase key equipment and inventory. The organizations have also provided assistance with marketing for the China House Café.

Main Street in Truman, Minn.

Among these supporting organizations were the Regional Center for Entrepreneurial Facilitation in Mankato, Minn.; IGNITE Services of the Martin County Economic Development Authority in Fairmont, Minn.; Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation in Owatonna, Minn.; and Truman Development Corporation in Truman, Minn.

Vuong said he is very eager to build his business and has advice for other immigrant families looking to become entrepreneurs. He said that in order to create a business you have to have a plan and know how to treat a customer.

The China House Café held a ribbon cutting event last week and is already a popular area restaurant, serving both Chinese and American cuisine.

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