Cambodian-born-and-raised Chavrat (Chevy) DuBose and her husband Mike moved to Waco from Seattle, Washington in 2015. Upon arrival, Chevy found an overwhelming lack of accessibility to Cambodian food and other more diverse culinary options in the city, often driving to Austin or Dallas to find proper ingredients at Asian food markets so she could prepare Cambodian dishes. After praise from her friends in the Waco, Texas area Mike and Chevy took a leap of faith in October 2016 and bought a small food truck, opening their doors in early December of that year. After expanding to a larger truck in 2017 due to popular demand, The Blasian Asian eventually expanded even further, opening as a vendor at our very own Union Hall!
We had the opportunity to ask Mike DuBose a few questions regarding their new-found family business and delectable Cambodian cuisine.
Q: What’s been your favorite part about being open in Waco? In Union Hall?
MIKE: “Our favorite part about being open in Waco is undoubtedly the people. We fell in love with the area and people immediately after moving here. All communities have their pros and cons, and Chevy and I have found many more pros than cons which motivates us to continue supporting and serving here. We are committed to supporting the community in which we operate. We are also quite active in multiple organizations that are missioned in improving the community as a whole. Union Hall has offered the community the choice of dining diversity under one roof. Although not a new concept abroad, it is new to the city of Waco and we are pleased to be a part of this growing trend of a centralized culinary smorgasbord in a one stop shopping environment.”
Q: What has it been like for you to see this restaurant grow in such a prominent way from such grass-roots beginnings?
MIKE: “For us to see The Blasian Asian grow and thrive from its introduction as a very small food trailer only five and a half years ago has been surreal. I mean, we originally hoped to be able to sell at least 10 plates a day and we now currently average 250 plates per day. This in itself created a challenge that we never would have imagined; the ability to hire and retain employees that have the same integrity and quality that we envisioned for The Blasian Asian. Through continuous improvement methodologies we have been able to improve not only the business but the employees keeping us alive.”
Q: What are some aspects of running a family-owned business that you think people would be interested to know about? Do you have any stories pertaining to what it’s like working with family so closely?
MIKE: “A huge aspect to running a family owned and operated business is never forgetting that we are family FIRST. The daily demands of running a business can be pretty overwhelming and makes it easy to forget that it’s your wife, son, or daughter that you are interacting with, especially 7 days a week. There have been times where a family member has had to tell me that I should ‘take a breather’ because I may have gotten tunnel vision. And I have had that same advice for them. The ability to openly communicate concerns is important and necessary, otherwise we would quickly lose that family bond that keeps us going strong. Many folks see Chevy and I and think to themselves that we are so good at working closely together BUT, there have been times where we have snapped at one another. This was especially so when we were still in the food trailer and it was just her and I. Keeping in mind that Chevy is ‘The Cook’, and has orders coming in fast and consistently, I politely (at least in my mind) reminded her that a few orders were behind schedule. WOW, I saw a different side of her that I never saw before. We bickered back and forth a bit until we simply stopped talking to one another. Fortunately, once home we worked through that and often laugh about it now.”
Q: For you, what is the number one dish you’d recommend from your menu right now and why?
MIKE: “My personal favorite dish has changed multiple times as we continue to add new items to the menu. I would have to say that the Garlic Fried Rice is going to be my favorite go-to of all time. We have added items like the Deep Fried Riblets or the Teriyaki Chicken that have seriously questioned my loyalty to the Garlic Fried Rice though. The Garlic Fried Rice has just the right amount of seasoning and spices with your choice of protein (chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu, or just extra vegetables) that has our customers coming back to order time-after-time. It also happens to be the highest selling menu item.”
Q: How would you like to see the Waco area grow in terms of having more culinary diversity?
MIKE: “We would love to see the continued offerings of diversified food options in a single location. It has successfully been proven with the establishment of Union Hall that it is definitely a big hit with folks.”
Q: What’s the next step for The Blasian Asian?
MIKE: “ As for The Blasian Asian’s next steps, we want to continue to learn and go as we grow. We are currently in the planning and designing stages of being one of the participating restaurants inside the newly announced Union Grove eatery in Woodway/Hewitt. We are looking forward to meeting and interacting with new customers and organizations while also becoming more convenient for our long-time and loyal customers.”
If you’d like a taste of Cambodia right here in your own backyard, you can find The Blasian Asian at 720 Franklin Ave. inside Union Hall. Below are their hours of operation:
For The Blasian Asian’s menu and more information, visit https://theblasianasian.com/