Tapping immigrant roots to side-step traditional food business models

“Hustling is in our blood,” Chef Yia Vang said. “I’m not doing anything different than what my parents and my grandparents were doing in Laos and Thailand.”

Vang operates Union Kitchen, a Hmong American pop-up restaurant, alongside his cousin Chris Her. Like many immigrant food business owners, Vang’s culinary journey had humble beginnings. What started out as cooking phở in garages at church-sponsored backyard parties four years ago evolved into a pop-up restaurant just shy of two years old, now having found temporary residency outside of Sociable Cider Werks in northeast Minneapolis. Similar to Union Kitchen, Donburi is a pop-up Japanese restaurant offering up rice bowls, poke bowls and fresh sashimi. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 8/8: No charges filed in police shooting of Thurman Blevins

 

On July 30, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced his decision to not file charges against MPD officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt. The two officers shot and killed Thurman Blevins during a police investigation on June 23 in the Camden neighborhood. Community members gathered and spoke out in response to the County Attorney’s decision. “This Thurman Blevins case did not happen in a vacuum, it happened as part of a history of corruption at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department,” said civil rights attorney and activist Nekima Levy-Armstrong, adding, “It is not an isolated incident — it is part of a pattern that shows [the MPD] diminish the lives of Black residents in Minneapolis.”

“I don’t want the media and the world to think we are angry. We aren’t angry. Continue Reading