Vince Nguyen and his Mom

What I Learned from Working with My Mom

Nam Coffee is a culmination of my passions and experiences. For me, coffee is deeply personal. I was raised by a single mom who was dedicated to providing the best life for my older brother, sister and me.

When I was twelve years old in Saigon, she opened up a coffee stand in an alleyway in District One so my sister and I could afford to go to school. We spent our early mornings before class, preparing the phin filters, breaking ice, and stocking up on inventory. It was a family business through and through.

Now that I have my own coffee company, I’m proud to be carrying the torch and continuing the family tradition. Here are a few things I’ve learned from working alongside my mom in the coffee stand years ago in Saigon. 

The importance of community

At Nam Coffee, we want to know how our coffee is impacting you on a daily basis. We love connecting with you on social media and learning more about your stories. This openness stems from my past at the coffee stand.

My mom, sister, and I were open to feedback from our customers. At first, the neighborhood locals didn’t care for our coffee. Many thought that something being brewed in an alleyway couldn’t be high quality. Well, we proved them wrong! We personalized the coffee drinking experience for each customer, asking them about their specific preferences and adjusting accordingly. Through this process, we were able to gain a loyal following. 

Our coffee stand was the center of a lively community. We were the first stop for countless people en route to work who needed a little caffeine boost to wake up. By watching my mom create this community, I learned that a successful business isn’t just about the product, it’s about the people who decide to join you on the journey.

Vince Nguyen and his family

How to be patient

Starting a business from scratch isn’t easy. I’ve devoted myself to Nam Coffee because I truly believe that it’s time that Vietnamese coffee can be as sophisticated and delicious as the other coffee brands from around the world.

Working along with my mom, I saw up close how patient she was. She was driven by a desire to give my brother, sister and I a better life. And with that mission, she never lost focus and didn’t give up. Through my years of experience in both the fashion and food industries, I’ve learned that things don’t come all at once. You have to work on it day by day and refine your products.

Vince Nguyen's Mom

Why creativity is key

We had to think outside the box when we were running the coffee stand. Through being open to feedback and new approaches to making coffee, we approached our coffee stand with creativity and ingenuity.  At Nam Coffee, everything we do from the packaging to the phin filters to the coffee carries that same spirit. We want to challenge this notion that Vietnamese coffee can’t be on par with other global brands. And to do that, we’re teaming up with both high quality farmers in the Vietnamese highlands and seasoned roasters in Los Angeles. With our colorful and playful packaging, we’re highlighting our ingenuity. 

Nam Coffee Products

The names of each of our products hold significant meaning to the Vietnamese community — Da Lat, District One, and Orange County. Whether it's working at a bustling alleyway or a farm in Da Lat, our stories are imbued with innovation. For more information and updates on our products, please visit our Instagram page. We invite you to come along this journey spanning from Vietnam to California.

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