Wa Quach, 48, immigrated from Vietnam in 1986 and long dreamed of introducing authentic Vietnamese cuisine to more people.
“I could never Americanize my food,” he said. “I want to introduce my food to all American kids.”
He wanted to start his own business, so when he saw the chance to rent a space near Main Campus, he immediately seized it.
He opened his restaurant, Yummy Pho, on Broad Street near Norris in 2017. The restaurant offers options like pho tai, pad tai ga and pho gau, all traditional noodle-based Vietnamese dishes.
At the restaurant, Quach works with his brothers and nieces, who are all from New Jersey. During the week there are usually four members of his family working, but on busy weekend shifts, as many as eight of them are come in to help, he said.
Working as a family allows them to get things done and fosters teamwork at the restaurant, Quach said.
“The whole family comes out on the weekend,” he added. “We’re family so we are always helping each other out. It’s easier that way.”
Michelle Quach, one of Wa Quach’s nieces, said she enjoys their family spirit. She’s worked at the restaurant since it opened and likes the energy that Temple students bring it, she said.
“I really enjoy the vibe,” she added. “It’s really fun coming into work here every day.”
Wa Quach has also grown fond of the Temple students.
“They’re so kind,” he said. “I almost treat them like my own kids.”
One day, he wants to expand so more students can eat in the restaurants.
“I want students to come in and relax, but we have such a small space,” he said. “When students come in and don’t have a space to sit, I feel bad.”
Thérèse Toczek, a sophomore industrial and systems engineering major, routinely dines at Yummy Pho.
“I love the environment, especially the lights and plants,” she said. “It’s just a very relaxing place to come and eat.”
Toczek enjoys the plant-based options the restaurant provides, like the vegetarian pho and fried tofu. She encourages students to come out and experience something they might’ve otherwise not tasted before.
“I encourage everyone to try the vegetarian spring rolls, they’re really fresh and delicious,” she said.
The restaurant has recently expanded to offer delivery on Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates, food-delivery services, to introduce the food to as many people as possible, Wa Quach said.
Kurt Nolasco, a freshman marketing major, said Yummy Pho offers an atmosphere that even correlates with his own experiences in Asia.
“The restaurant gave me a little bit of nostalgia to the times I’ve been to Asia,” he said. “The cozy, bar styled noodle restaurants were super common in many places I’ve been to in Asia,”
Wa Quach takes pride in the authenticity of the food. He wants as many people as possible to come in and experience the beauty behind Vietnamese cuisine.
“I want all Temple students to experience how unique and great our food is,” he added. “People come in and pay money, so I want to give them the best experience possible.”