MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A Vietnamese dish called “pho” is gaining popularity, and one local couple is capitalizing on the tasty treat.
For Luan and Toni To, making pho is a family affair. Not only did their four children inspire their new frozen pho delivery business, but they use Luan’s father’s recipe to bring this age-old Vietnamese comfort food to a new audience.
"One time, one kid, not sure which, said 'I wish someone would deliver it to us for cheap and just a little bit. I don't want so much.' We were like.. light bulb," Toni said.
The name of their company JACS PHO is an acronym for the first letters of their four kids’ names.
“It’s like chicken noodle soup here in America," Luan said.
At night, they rent the kitchen at a friend's north Minneapolis restaurant to cook the beef broth for 10 hours. Then, they vacuum pack it in single serve portions along with rice noodles, onions, basil leaves and bean sprouts.
The frozen food is then delivered to customers across the Twin Cities so they can reheat the dish in a matter of minutes instead of going out to a restaurant for it.
“It’s something that takes hours and hours to make. So for someone who wants to come home to a fresh bowl of pho, having it delivered to your door… that's intriguing," customer Macy Lee Johnson said.
Thanks to social media and word of mouth, business is booming.
"It was supposed to be a side job make a little extra cash and maybe one day leave to the kids. Never thought it would get this big this fast," Toni said.
In this labor of love, even customers feel like family. The Tos are doing more than just nourishing bodies, they're feeding souls.
“That's why we are so invested in quality. Because when we're feeding our customers, it’s like we are feeding our kids," Toni said.