Our timeline

The tale of Amitea

By Binh Nguyen

How it all began

Story of the two brothers

It began with the tale of two brothers who came to Canada with the desire of a better future for their children.

My Dad, Thomas Thái Nguyễn, along with his older brother, David Thư moved from their home country Vietnam to Calgary, Alberta on May 25th of 2015. Their purpose? Giving their children (meaning us yayy!) a shot at experiencing the Canadian education system.

As first-generation newcomers, we are no strangers to homesickness. Different culinary tastes and being 12,000 miles away from Vietnam came with their useful perks, however. For the first time in our lives, we realize just how powerful familiar tastes were; of how a slight tinge of coriander leaf, concealed amidst the piquant mix of marinated satay beef could mean a world of differences to a homesick kid’s taste-buds.

Our humble beginning and challenges

Having finished the background work, construction for our first location at the heart of Chinatown’s 2nd Ave began around late August to early February of 2019. Since then, we have steadily gained a loyal customer base to our place due to the quality of our drinks, the deliciousness of our food, and more importantly, the welcoming friendliness that we’d like all of our guests to feel when they stepped into Amitea.

But the roads we traveled were not without some bumps and hiccups…  

Like most local businesses, operations were difficult in the first few months after COVID hit. It was extremely fortunate for us however that also around this time, many people saw how interesting our combined business model was and asked if they could potentially share this concept with other regions across Canada.

In came an Idea...

So what to do if 1. you are 12,000 miles away from home, 2. your kids are “screaming” their lungs out for Vietnamese food, and 3. a brilliant business idea? Well of course, Start your own business!

Having stayed in Canada for almost three years at that point in 2017, my Dad and my uncles began began looking into ways of combining the existing Taiwanese bubble tea shop model with a more traditional Vietnamese full-kitchen culinary experiences into a more “in n’ out” takeaway concept that’s unique to Amitea.

Since day one, perfecting the menu and our recipe was pretty much a relatively straightforward process, as we’ve already had extensive experiences with the F&B industry in Vietnam (we used to operate a phở restaurant in District 2) and combined with the knowledge that my Dad had gained from bubble-tea making from his business trip to Taiwan.

And thus, Amitea was born!

Our dreams and the long road ahead.

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And the rest, as you might have known, is history. Our first partnered location outside of Chinatown debuted around August of 2020 in Saint John, Nfl, and Labrador. We currently have two additional locations in Hay River, Northwest Territories; a partnered store in Calgary’s Dover neighborhood; and as of to date, a flagship branch in Calgary’s Old-West neighborhood, Inglewood.

At its heart, Amitea is no different from typical average “mom n’ pop” shop, and we wanted to retain it that way, so that generations of new immigrants would have the opportunity, the capital, and the support they need to kickstart a stable job in Canada where they are the ones who decide what their future looks like. Apart from that, it’s also practical education for their children to expose themselves to a competitive, yet controlled business environment. To quote my Dad on why he wanted to build Amitea “It’s for you kids to experience firsthand the value of labor and money working to make our family business better everyday”.

At the end of the day, we wouldn’t be who we are today without our local community. We are continuously amazed by the level of enthusiasm and tremendous help that we received each step along the way. Supporters like you are reasons why we continuously strive to improve the quality of our services and recipes every day. To commemorate the milestone of how far we have gone for the last two years, we would like to extend our greatest gratitude and deepest thanks to you.

At its heart, Amitea is no different from typical average "mom n' pop" shop, and we wanted to retain it that way, so that generations of new immigrants would have the opportunity, the capital, and the support they need to kickstart a stable job in Canada

A shortened list of what we did

our (condensed) timeline

May 2017
A humble beginning
Jottin' down the first ideas for Amitea

Here's my Dad and Uncle David's first few hands-notes for the floorplan of Amitea Chinatown.

September 2019
Our first steps
Construction of Amitea Chinatown

Working hard or hardly workin'?

February 2019
Our first taste of success
Amitea Chinatown debuts February 2019.

Our first crew at Amitea Chinatown - training completed!

July 2019
Promoting Vietnamese taste-buds
Folk Fest 2019

Our fresh line-up at Folk Fest 2019. Lovin' the festive atmosphere here. 

August 2019
Engaging with the community
Taste of Calgary 2019

Our station at Taste of Calgary 2019. You can see Oscar's smirk at the back =)

March 2020
One of our many challenges and opportunities
First wave of the novel coronavirus

Like many local businesses in Chinatown, we were not the exception to the economic turbulence caused by the novel COVID-19 pandemic. 

August 2020
Taking a shot at expansion?
Gettin' started on Inglewood

It's also around this time that we came up with an idea of opening a new flagship location at the heart of Calgary's Inglewood neighborhood.

October 2020
A hopeful reopening?
Amitea Saint John debuts in Nfl. & Lab 2020

If there's any silver-lining to this pandemic at all, it is the grand opening of our location in St. John, NFL.

May 2021
Our first partnership
Amitea Dover debuts May 2021
Amitea Dover debuts May 2021

We began our partnership with Ổ Bánh Mì to form Amitea Dover on 26 Avenue SE, Calgary.

July 2021
Start of a dream: Amitea Canada
Amitea Hay River debuts in Northwest Territories, July 2021
Amitea Hay River debuts in Northwest Territories, July 2021

Amitea to debut amidst the cold winter chills in Hay River, NWT.

August 2021
Watching the fireworks go 'round and 'round
Amitea at Global Fest 2021

We became the official representative vendor of the Vietnamese kitchen in the 2021 Global Fest! Keep an eye out for us years to come and thank you for the huge support!

October 2021
A new beginning
Grand debut of Amitea Inglewood

Our flagship brainchild finally debut in Inglewood after a year of long and arduous hard-work. Mission accomplished?> 

Franchising

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Community

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Company Timeline

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