Coming to the United States as a refugee from Cambodia, Nite Yun opened Nyum Bai to commemorate her parents as well as celebrate Cambodian food and culture, especially its Golden Era. “Nyum Bai is a place for everyone to hang and jam out to 60s Cambodian rock music,” says Nite.
“The food that the restaurant serves is the food that I grew up eating. There is a lack of traditional Cambodian restaurants in Oakland, and I want to bring accessible Cambodian food to the community,” Nite shares.
When asked why she opened her business in the Fruitvale district, Nite explains, “Fruitvale is one of the areas in Oakland where it’s still untapped. The culture is alive here and rather than changing it, I want to be part of it.”
Nite came to Main Street Launch through a referral from La Cocina, a nonprofit that provides entrepreneurs that with affordable commercial kitchen space. Nite used the loan from Main Street Launch as starting capital, to buy equipment and pay her employees.
She describes her experience with Main Street Launch: “Working with Main Street Launch was accessible, transparent and timely. The employees are very responsive to emails and because of its location in Oakland, it is easy to come to the office.”
Nite offers advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “It’s going to be hard work. It’s not a fairytale where everything is easy, but it will be the most rewarding work as you see your dreams and aspirations come alive.”
She also adds, “Don’t forget to make time for yourself or you will be very overwhelmed with the amount of work you have.”
Nyum Bai is now open Tuesday to Saturday: Lunch 11:30AM – 2:30PM and Dinner 5:30PM – 9:00PM. On Sunday, the restaurant is open all day from 12PM-8PM. Come by and enjoy this space as it brings together the Cambodian community.
Photo credit: Oriana Koren