DENVER, Colorado — Two popular Denver food trucks and a bakery have teamed up to take over a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and they hope to create opportunities for small businesses and bring in new customers.
“After leaving a very long career at a private golf country club, we were just looking for change," said Penelope Wong, chef owner at Yuan Wonton food truck. "The priority was to find and maintain more of a work-life balance, make our own schedule, but at the very heart of it still remain in the industry."
Wong and her husband started Yuan Wonton in 2019 and specialize in handmade wontons and dumplings. A popular dish the company is known for is the chili wonton.
"It’s a Hong Kong-style wonton with pork and shrimp filling," Wong said. "It’s a very delicate thin wonton wrapper, then we steam it and finish it in our own chili oil."
Wong said that after years in the food industry, she would never open a restaurant because of the long hours and the demand that comes with owning a store.
“With my husband being in the industry for so many years and how many hours are required to make it work, we always said from day one we would never open a restaurant," she said.
Fast-forward a few years later, Yuan Wonton received an opportunity to open a store in the Park Hill community, but it won't be the typical setup that people are used to seeing.
Yuan Wonton partnered with two small businesses: Pho King Rapidos, which includes Vietnamese food with a fusion twist, and Sweets & Sourdough Bakery. Each company plans to operate at different hours, giving each of them an opportunity to showcase their food but continue to balance work and life.
“We were intrigued by what we were doing, and we started trading bread and pastries for dumplings," said Rachael Elkon and Amy Patterson, owners of Sweets & Sourdough Bakery. "We got to know each other over the last couple of years, and we were both looking for a way out of the commissary, and we talked about the idea of opening a space together."
All three business owners have collaborated together in the past during on pop-up events.
"Doing this on your own it’s daunting, but having partners you can lean on and depend on, I’m lucky and fortunate," said Long Nguyen, part owner of Pho King Rapidos.
Wong said she plans to use the space as an opportunity to grow and learn from other local businesses.
“We’re three companies, with three separate entities, operating under one space and one roof, but it will still be each separate company," Wong said. “We’re here to share our food, to share our story with you. I tell a story through my food, I hold family memories through my food, so it’s very personal to me."
The brick-and-mortar space located at 2878 Fairfax St. is currently under construction, but they hope to open at the end of May.
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