Owners: Tony and Ratinun Supmitchotima
Business: Pad Thai Restaurant
Address: 3259 Mission St.
Category: Restaurant
Food: Thai

What gave you the idea to start your own business?
We came here twenty years ago and worked under the previous owner, who was also from our country of Thailand. As soon as that owner wanted to sell the restaurant, wedecided to invest in the business we loved. In our culture, we love to eat, talk and have a good time.

How does your business/business idea relate to your life?
In Thailand, we have a saying that we should Bring our culture to the West. I wanted to bring something different to the Mission — something I felt was aligned with my culture. Ratinuns family has had a restaurant in Thailand for many years, so the idea was to bring our culture to the Mission through food. That’s also the reason we have all of these paintings from our homeland on the restaurants walls.

Why should potential customers invest in small businesses?
Mission residents should invest in small businesses because we are investing in individual people. Corporations don’t look out for everyone in the community. We have a very mixed community in the Mission, and bringing in corporations may change the dynamic in this part of the city. My kids go to school here, and we made this place our home. Letting corporations in here and not supporting small businesses will drive many people out of here because it will be hard for residents of the community to immediately find job.

What do you love about the Mission?
We have made many friends and feel we are a part of the Mission community. We talk to the people from so many different places, like the owner of Oriental Market and our employee from Nicaragua. The Mission is a friendly place. We learn new things from one another like Spanish, English or how to cook Thai food! The owners and employees of Tierra Mia Coffee came over here and we had a Mardi Gras party. My family had a blast. That’s why my kids and I call the Mission our home.