Tiny Thai: Small Truck, Big Flavor

| Food & Drink

Kae Baramee is bringing authentic Thai food to Western New York one stop at a time with her food truck, Tiny Thai! Visit Buffalo Niagara recently had the opportunity to interview Kae over the phone to learn more about her mouthwatering cuisine, and journey to business ownership.

Visit Buffalo Niagara: What inspired you to open Tiny Thai?

Tiny Thai: “When I lived in Thailand, I always had a dream of opening my own restaurant. Growing up, my family did not always have a lot of money, but I made it a priority to attend college. After receiving my degree, I began working for a large corporation in Thailand. I worked in this management position for 11 years, often putting my personal life on hold. During this time, I found myself frequently working 6 days per week. With this demanding schedule, I truly felt like I didn’t have time for my life. Soon after this realization, I decided to get my visa to come to America. Initially, my plan was to spend time in the United States saving money to establish a restaurant back in Thailand. However, while I was here, I met my husband. After we got married, my husband and I began thinking about how to make my dream of restaurant ownership come to life. At the time, we decided that a food truck would be a great start. We began saving money and were able to purchase the truck to get the process started.”

VBN: What do you love most about owning a food truck?

TT: “Owning a food truck has allowed me to be in control of my life and my schedule. I love that I can open the truck at any time that I want to, on any day of the week. My food truck also allows me to move to almost any location, and have a presence where people are spending their money. I realized that in the restaurant industry, most businesses do not have this luxury. I love having a new, fun location to visit every day. It has been such a fun and rewarding experience for me so far.”

VBN: What are your typical day-to-day responsibilities as the owner of a food truck?

TT: “The responsibilities that come with owning a food truck are constant. Usually, I spend one day of the week shopping for the food that will be needed throughout the week. If possible, I try to prep some of the food that will be used as well. The late spring and early summer season have already proven to be very busy, so taking a portion of the day to prepare food has been a priority for me. On my shopping day, I wake up at 5 am and typically finish everything up around 9 pm. Otherwise, I spend my days cooking and preparing food in the truck and tending to customers alongside a small team of my employees.”

VBN: For someone who hasn’t eaten Thai food before, what dishes would serve as the best introduction to the cuisine?

TT: “A lot of customers enjoy the Khao Man Gai. This dish is not too spicy and comes with a side of sticky rice and cucumber. The barbeque chicken dish is another favorite among customers that have frequented the truck. These options would both serve as a good introduction, and I hope to add new menu items such as sweet and sour chicken so that everyone can try something different.”

VBN: What goals do you have for Tiny Thai in the future?

TT: “Right now, my main goal is to save up money to buy a building that can accommodate a restaurant. I want to find a space that has a fantastic location so that I can continue to interact with many different people. Ideally, my husband and I hope to find a building that can house at least two storefronts, as we are both business owners. My husband owns Buffalo Bike Tours, where he provides guided outings around the city of Buffalo. After the tours conclude, he has found that many of his customers are hungry. Typically, they ask him for recommendations in the area to grab something to eat. With this in mind, we would like to place our businesses side by side to create an all-in-one hub for tour-goers and other members of the community alike. Although I enjoy owning a food truck, having a restaurant space would be favorable for the winter months, when foot traffic often travels indoors. In the future, we would also like to have a larger menu with additional options. I would love to find a new type of Thai food to bring to the Buffalo area.”

@visitbuffaloniagara

Tiny Thai brings flavor from across the world to Buffalo! #buffalony #716

♬ So Much Happiness – Lux-Inspira

VBN: Where can food lovers expect to see Tiny Thai this summer?

TT: “Tiny Thai will be present all over Buffalo this summer! On Tuesday evenings, Tiny Thai will be part of Food Truck Tuesdays in Larkin Square. Tiny Thai will also be at the Seneca One building on Wednesday evenings. On Thursday afternoons, you will be able to find Tiny Thai at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. During the first Friday of every month, Tiny Thai will also be in Allentown. During the weekend on Saturdays and Sundays, Tiny Thai will be in the Five Points neighborhood. When Tiny Thai is at Five Points, I typically try to park the truck near the flowers so that customers can enjoy their meal at the tables set up in that area.”

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Tiny Thai
Check website and social media for locations/events
tinythai.biz | Instagram

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