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
September 2019 Our first steps
February 2019 Our first taste of success
July 2019 Promoting Vietnamese taste-buds
August 2019 Engaging with the community
March 2020 One of our many challenges and opportunities
August 2020 Taking a shot at expansion?
October 2020 A hopeful reopening?
May 2021 Our first partnership
July 2021 Start of a dream: Amitea Canada
August 2021 Watching the fireworks go 'round and 'round
October 2021 A new beginning

Franchising

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