- Community Development
Nipaporn “Kuk” Ruadrew, owner of Jasmine Rice Thai & Vietnamese Cuisine, grew up eating from the food carts in Thailand. Kuk recalls the joyful childhood ritual of walking with her mother through street markets in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam as she chose fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and meat for her cooking.
“She instilled in me not only a love for food,” she states, “but also an appreciation for how an amazing meal can bring friends and family to the table.”
The menu at Jasmine Rice offers Thai and Vietnamese dishes, and on weekends, Lexington’s first encounter with Laotian cuisine. Along with her mother who runs the kitchen, Kuk makes certain each customer’s experience is special. Service is immediate, and you could not ask for friendlier or more responsive hosts.
“Everything is fresh and not pre-made,” Kuk said. “I love to cook. It was my dream to become a chef.”
Kuk said opening her own restaurant is exciting. It’s also very meaningful for her family, who appreciate the opportunity they got for a new start many years ago when they were approved for a small business loan at Community Ventures.
“We’re blessed in so many ways…and we never forget that,” Kuk said, recalling her restaurant’s success. “That’s how we survived. We came here with nothing, and now we have great friends and family and belong to a great community.”