Entrepreneurship is about more than just having a big idea — it requires relentless creativity, unwavering passion, the drive to make that idea a reality, and in our line of work, some really good food.
In our “5 Minutes with an Entrepreneur” series, we pass the mic to Michigan entrepreneurs we’ve supported to hear their stories, including the spark behind their business, challenges they’ve faced, and what motivates them to keep going.
First up is serial entrepreneur Tony Vu, the force behind MaMang in Flint and The Good Bowl in Traverse City, as well as the food incubator Flint Social Club. Read on to hear Tony share the inspiration behind MaMang, where he hopes to be in five years, his advice for new entrepreneurs, and more.
Tell us about your business.
MaMang is a Vietnamese food stall located in the Flint Farmers’ Market. We serve the best Pho in the state of Michigan 🙂 We also serve a bevy of both traditional and new Vietnamese dishes, all inspired by my mom’s cooking and my travels around Vietnam.
The Good Bowl is a brick and mortar Vietnamese restaurant along with its sister food truck Good on Wheels. Soon Hagerty and I co founded it as a way to give thanks and share our appreciation for America. Both our families escaped war in Vietnam and were able to rebuild our lives with the support of the communities we found ourselves in. In 3yrs of operation, we’ve donated over $80k to mostly local charities through our dollar per bowl giving program.
Flint Social Club is a capacity building program that lowers barriers and offers business support and mentorship to chef entrepreneurs. Our mission is to create a more diverse and accessible food scene in Flint. We currently curate popups and special events with our participants and are developing a food hall accelerator for our program.
Five years from now, where do you hope to be?
In a position where I can provide the space and support to help other budding entrepreneurs fly.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give other entrepreneurs?
Network and get used to asking questions. I find that most entrepreneurs are more than willing to help and share their experiences; we’ve all been through the grind. The pressures of running a small business can make you feel lonely at times. Find your tribe of support and grow together.
What motivates you?
My amazing, dedicated, and super talented crew. They are the heartbeat behind everything I’m fortunate to do.
In one sentence, could you describe how working with Michigan Good Food Fund has helped your business?
Michigan Good Food Fund has connected me to a large world of compassionate business support and mentoring, and helped me define my identity as a good food business.
Want to learn more about Tony and his work? Check out this feature on MaMang’s expansion in Flint Beat, taste test MaMang’s Wu-Tang wings with MLive, and watch a video on Flint Social Club created through our Hey Michigan! Let’s Eat! Storytelling training.
Interested in working with the Michigan Good Food Fund? See if your business is a good fit here.