The Saigon Kitchen: an All About The Cooks success story

The Saigon Kitchen: an All About The Cooks success story

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From local fixer to home-cook

Back in 2019 when we started our search for the home-cooking heroes of Bristol, we discovered Trung Trinh on Instagram and asked if he fancied selling his Vietnamese food on our platform. He quickly said yes, and a very exciting journey began.

Living in North Bristol with his wife and son, Trung has spent most of his working life in television production – a career inherently inspired by his deep-rooted passion for Vietnamese food. Born after the Vietnamese war in a very small town by the sea in the North of Vietnam called Bai Tu Long Bay, Trung started cooking from a very young age.

“Growing up in a poor area, there were no restaurants or fancy food, except some carts that served simple street food, which meant that family mealtimes were very important. My mum taught me other skills too like how to use a knife, work an open fire, along with ways to identify and pick out the best ingredients and how to combine them to make well-balanced dishes. To make it simple, but also enjoyable. She told me cooking is one of life’s survival skills. It is very important and will stay with you all your life – the same as swimming. I’d like to introduce all Bristolians to what it is to eat fresh authentic Vietnamese foods. To taste the real Vietnam.”

And that he did...

When we launched late in 2020 Trung quickly become one of the most popular and best-selling cooks on the platform. His Friday afternoons were now spent in his home-kitchen in Horfield ahead of all his All About The Cooks collections later that evening. Taking home £4.5k+ in his first year of selling locally on the platform gave Trung the confidence that not only did people really love his food, but also that this could be more than a ‘side-hustle’.

All About The Cooks has always been about empowering talented home-cooks to earn money doing something they’re good at. But back in 2020 when our founder Claire suggested how brilliant it would be if one of our cooks set up something successful on their own in the future, we hadn’t anticipated that less than a year and a half later, Trung would be achieving his life-long dream of opening his first restaurant. The Saigon Kitchen finally opened its doors to the public this February, and Trung is now navigating a new role as a full-time restaurant owner, chef, and Dad! 

Despite now serving his food in a sit-down setting in this buzzy Zetland Road hot-spot, Trung is keen to point out that this this is still, and always will be, authentic Vietnamese home-cooking. He has great respect for his culture and the recipes which have been passed through his community, which he now has the chance to share with the hundreds of people that will walk through his restaurant door.

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“We want to give people the moral support to do their own thing. All About The Cooks is about empowering people. And, even if someone ends up being a huge success on the platform and ends up moving on to set up something on their own, I would think that was massive success for us – it would be brilliant to see that happen.”

Claire Ladkin, Founder - Nov 2020

The All About The Cooks team finally had the chance to pay The Saigon Kitchen a long-awaited visit last week, and were quickly reminded of Trung’s immense pride and passion for the Vietnamese food he prepares as soon as we arrived. As we tucked into our hanoi style spring rolls and sweet and sour ‘Bun Cha’, Trung caught us up on the long but rewarding journey so far, and together we reflected on how much he had achieved in such a short space of time.

We feel hugely proud to have played a small part in helping Trung achieve his life-long food ambition of opening his own restaurant, and we want to help may more talented cooks reach their goals. There is no limit to what our home-cooks can achieve, and that is really exciting.

If you’re disappointed that you can’t order Trung’s food on our website – fear not. Trung plans to take pre-orders for his food with us again very soon, for people to collect from The Saigon Kitchen to enjoy to eat at home. Keep your eyes peeled and you can enjoy that home-cooked Vietnamese taste with us again soon.

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Did you know that we’re crowdfunding?

Sharing is at the heart of everything we do at All About The Cooks, and we’d love you to share in our journey too. Now you can have your piece of the pie by becoming a shareholder of the business. 

We want to revolutionise the way we eat at home, and we’d love you to join us on the journey. If you’re keen to get involved, have a read of our pitch on Crowdcube…

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Make some extra dough

Make some extra dough

make-some-dough
In this current cost of living crisis, we've found a way for you to make some extra dough.

Cost of living crisis

 There’s no hiding from the staggering rise in the cost of living that is impacting millions across the nation, seeing the UK’s inflation rate rise at its fastest rate in 30 years. Unfortunately, the reality for many is that wage growth isn’t keeping up with these rising prices. The Office for National Statistics have reported that whilst wages rose between November and January, pay has still shown a 1% fall when accounting for rising costs. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has also driven costs even higher – with wholesale gas more than doubling. 

With record-breaking petrol prices, rapidly rising energy bills and our food and household goods all adding up, lots of us are left with the same question on our mind…

"How can I earn some extra money?"

Thought about pursuing a side hustle?

This rising cost of living is leaving many seeking opportunities to earn a bit of extra money on the side, now that the day job is no longer cutting it. Side hustles are becoming increasingly popular as additional work outside of the 9 to 5, allowing people to make money whilst pursuing a talent or hobby. 

Taking up a second job from your own home may be the game-changer you need to take the pressure off. The best part of pursuing a side hustle is that is can be entirely moulded around your lifestyle. Imagine doing something you love, where you choose your own hours, and you get paid – bonus! It gives you the flexibility of being your own boss, with all the perks, without the commitment of making it your full-time gig.

Pre-pandemic, the side hustle community was rocketing, having grown 32% in the past decade. For some people, this gave them a holiday fund or paid for the nice-to-haves. For others this money has become as essential way of covering the growing costs of living. 

All About The Cooks has found the solution to starting your own side hustle

Living amongst us, talented people are making extraordinary food in their own homes, wanting to share it to people in their community and earn a bit of money doing so. And we know people are always interested to find new, delicious things to eat on their doorstep. Up until now, there has been so safe or trusted route to market for home-cooks wanting to sell their food to local people, and this is where All About The Cooks has come in, to help those who are unsure where to begin. Perhaps you love cooking (and people love eating your food!), but you’re not sure how to set up a small business, with all that it entails.

Connecting talented home-cooks to busy customers, our easy-to-use online platform takes away all the stress in between, providing delicious, authentic meals to people all over Bristol. The best part? We are enabling money to change hands within communities, empowering  talented local people to make money doing something they really love – so far we’ve put over £28k in the pockets of our cooks.  

There aren’t only financial rewards to this side-gig, as already our cooks are connecting with new people all over the city to share their love for cooking and sharing stories about themselves and their food, all while putting a smile on people’s faces.

Etsy is the perfect example of a thriving platform, paving the way for businesses in the sharing economy. The idea of independent sellers shipping handcrafted, vintage and craft supply items to people around the world is not one that that sounds feasible, but their glaring success proved otherwise, providing thousands of crafters and creatives with a sweet monthly bonus. 

"Since launching in Bristol, we've recruited more than 60 cooks. They've taken more than 800 orders and earned themselves £28,000 between them. That's the thing I'm proudest of." - Claire Ladkin, founder

Tomer
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Tomer, Bishopton

Tomer, based in Bishopston, is one of our talented cooks who spends his week preparing authentic Middle-Eastern food at home, inspired by his upbringing in Tel-Aviv. Having moved to Bristol for a more relaxed pace of life, Tomer found himself furloughed in the first lockdown, and following a neighbour’s plea to cook for them as they were tired of producing so many of their own meals, the idea for ‘Tavlin Kitchen’ was born.

"All About The Cooks gives me the opportunity to sell my Middle-Eastern food, as well as the ability to make money on my terms. Since I signed up with All About The Cooks, I've made £1500 cooking food for people around Bristol."

Since joining us at All About The Cooks, Tomer has been one of our best-selling cooks and now spends his spare time preparing Middle-Eastern feasts for many local, regular customers. 

"Tomer is a lovely guy, who went out of his way to make this meal really special. His food is amazing, with intense flavours, perfect execution and lots of interesting touches -- a tangy lemon salsa for example -- that take it to a completely different level! This was my first dining experience with All About the Cooks... and Tomer has set the bar very high!" - James (customer)

Check out Tomer’s ‘authentic and flavoursome’ Middle-Eastern inspired dishes here. If you, like Tomer, think you fancy yourself making some extra money from your home kitchen, start by reading more about how it all works today!

We have some very exciting news to share…we’re crowdfunding! 

Sharing is at the heart of everything we do at All About The Cooks, and we’d love you to share in our journey too. Now you can have your piece of the pie by becoming a shareholder of the business. 

We want to revolutionise the way we eat at home, and we’d love you to join us on the journey. If you’re keen to get involved, you can find our video pitch, our mission and team on our Crowdcube.

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The woman behind the pizza

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