Van Tran and her business partner Anh Vu established Banhmi11, offering market fresh Vietnamese food, adopting traditional Vietnamese techniques and flavour combinations and utilising these skills with local fresh British produce.
Banhmi11 sets out to change the way that people feel through the way they eat. They sell fresh market Vietnamese food in Bloomsbury that is all made in their small market kitchen on Elm Street. Banhmi11 offers a craft-your-own menu of healthy, affordable, personalised food. The duo have also launched a cook book to teach people the cooking techniques and recipes adopted in Vietnam and educating readers on how this can be adopted with local English ingredients.
Banhmi11 came about after Van and Anh gained experience selling Vietnamese food on a market stall, and catering for small functions. They decided to start a brand new venture where the focus would be on the way in which the food is produced. They wanted to sell from a fixed premises and produce a cook book explaining their techniques and recipes. In order to purchase and fit this kitchen, Van and Anh needed an injection of funds. After hearing about the Start Up Loans scheme and realising that the loans were available to businesses operating in all sectors, Van and Anh applied for a loan through the website.
After meeting with Start Up Direct, their Delivery Partner, the business partners were provided with free business support and guidance when it came to completing their business plans. They were soon approved for a loan and assigned a mentor who has a wealth of experience in food manufacturing and has proven to be a perfect fit. He is extremely supportive, meeting with the business partners on a fortnightly basis. Van states that Richard is the most engaged mentor that she has ever worked with and that he is an exceptionally useful contact who she would not usually have access to. Their mentor has helped Van and Anh to evaluate their progress and has introduced the pair to valuable contacts and professionals within the industry.
The loan funds were spent on developing the market kitchen where all of the food is produced. Banhmi11’s sales are going exceptionally well and with the cook book having launched, the business is going from strength to strength.