VietNom Nom, the popular Vietnamese food truck that roamed from Tacoma to Spanaway, has closed permanently.
The truck is for sale and co-owner Andy Huynh said he and his brother Paul Huynh and business partner Chris Weltzer are retiring their spatulas.
They say this is not a sad tale of failure, but a new chapter for them.
The trio started the truck serving Vietnamese street food in 2015. The mobile restaurant was a modern version of the Vietnamese sandwich shop run by Huynh’s mother more than 15 years ago in Tacoma’s Lincoln neighborhood.
“I hate closing down the business, people think you fail, but we really didn’t,” said Andy Huynh. “It was a fun business. It was profitable. Then we got hit (in a traffic accident) and then you have to go and do everything again. I don’t want to start from the beginning again.”
The trio was driving the food truck to the Brew Five Three festival in the summer of 2016 with the traffic accident put it out of commission.
They found it difficult to restart the business after shuttering it for nine months while the truck was repaired. Their recurring gigs evaporated and they didn’t have the drive required to find more.
“Once you lose your rotations, it’s like picking up in the beginning again,” Huynh said.
While on hiatus, the trio began working individually on starting other businesses and all three decided to pursue those instead of restarting the truck full-time.
They decided to do one last event as a farewell. Their last gig was serving meals on Thanksgiving at the Tacoma Nativity House.
“We did 250 meals and we built 250 warm bags with gloves, hand warmers, treats and snacks,” Huynh said.
He added, “Most businesses fail because of not being able to calculate finances or being able to hold on to it. We just decided to leave because we didn’t want to do it anymore and what better way to go out than to feed a whole bunch of people?”