On June 17th we teamed up with Nyum Bai, a Cambodian food pop-up, to host Noodle.Maple.Social, a pop-up, in Oakland, CA. The idea to collaborate was based on our shared interest for Cambodian food, culture and kampot peppercorns. We wanted our pop-up to have purpose and by doing that our goal was to provide a unique experience of Khmer culture through food, music and art.
Though there are a few Cambodian restaurants in the Bay, we feel like there is still a lack of of presence of traditional Cambodian cuisines. There is also a lack of education and marketing of Cambodian cuisines in the same fashion that have helped the Burmese, Thai and Vietnamese food scene thrive in the past few years. There was only one type of venue that would be fitting for the type of experience that would scream Cambodian, a donut shop! Majority of Cambodian-Americans have a family member that owns a donut shop as it is engrained in the Cambodian-American experience. We also hoped that the marketing of a pop-up in a donut shop would also help draw the attention of Cambodian-Americans of all ages to come out and network within the Bay Area community.
When the owners of Golden Gate Donut agreed to allow us to use their space, we felt like we really had to turn that place out and make sure the second you walked in, you were experiencing a normal day at a Cambodian establishment; a bit of chaos, rock & roll and good times. Our team and Nyum Bai were blown away by the interest of the attendees that day. We were truly hoping that we’d be lucky enough to get a steady stream of hungry customers and to our surprise we were greeted with a line that wrapped around the building throughout the event until we unexpectedly sold-out.
Our team couldn’t be anymore grateful for everyone that showed up and waited patiently. We hope that you all enjoyed Nyum Bai’s dishes and know that this is the beginning of a collaborative series we call Noodle.Maple.Social. It will continue to evolve so we can provide various unique Cambodian experiences. Our next one is going to be really sweet and we’ll make sure to improve so everyone leaves satisfied and full.