Tuyen and Kellie Truong are co-owners of Lawrenceville’s Bahn Mi and Ti. Affixed to the front window is a sign, proudly declaring them a Women Owned Business, one of the many that you will find in Lawrenceville. For almost three years now they’ve been serving up Vietnamese sandwiches and bubble tea to happy and well-fed customers. We sat down with Tuyen to talk about the restaurant business and why they love their neighborhood so much.
Is this your first time owning a restaurant?
This is our very, very first time. We both love cooking. We were always cooking. My parents, my family, have a history in restaurants, but this is our first time. We specialize in traditional Vietnamese sandwiches. We stay mostly traditional, but we do put our own twist on things. But you would still consider it very traditional, especially the marinades.
What made you choose Lawrenceville for your location?
We feel welcome here. To be honest, we looked around. We looked in Wexford in the North Hills, we looked in the South Hills. But we felt very comfortable here in Lawrenceville. We liked that it felt up and coming. We also love that people move here from far away. We meet a lot of people who are from all over the place, LA, San Francisco, probably mainly because of UPMC. We looked at this location and we fell in love.
What did you and your sister do before Bahn Mi and Ti?
I was in marketing for the hotels and casinos before this, and my sister had a management accounting degree, and she worked for a bank for a little while. But we always cooked together. She said, do you want to open something for us? We had always talked about it. We should open something small, we should do this, we should do that, so when the time was right, we opened one.
At the end of the day, me and my sister love this. We love what we built here. We love to cook. We love our customers. I like to see the familiar faces come in, talk to them about their lives.
What do you think you’re best known for?
Our sandwiches! Drunken Beef is our most popular. We are also very well known for our Vietnamese coffee, which is Cafe Du Mond chicory with condensed milk. We also use premium ingredients for all of our menu items. It’s important to us that we give our customers the absolute best.