Five years ago, 25-year-old Hoang Thu Le moved to Finland from Vietnam, to study. She was admitted to Satakunta university of Applied Sciences (SAMK) to study business administration. Growing up Hoang ate typical Vietnamese food, composed of plenty of vegetables and fruits, noodles, but very little meat or fish. In Finland she had difficulties finding proper variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and she was struggling with what to eat. This gave her the first ideas for an own business, a business that would offer plant based fresh food in Finland. Finally, in November 2017, she got her idea off the ground, and with the help of a local business accelerator she developed the idea further, analysed the market size, organised funds, planned the Business and found the place for her restaurant. In May 2018 she opened the doors into her plant based vegan restaurant called Vegoshi! Since then, the business has been going well with the support of local customers. Positive feedback and complements on the food are what keeps her energised and makes her believe in what she does.
Hoang is hoping that in the future more people would eat plant-based diet. This would not only help people to have a healthy lifestyle but it would also help to reduce carbon footprint. She sees that promoting environmentally friendly methods can differentiate the business from competitors and attract new customers. Environmental issues have always been close to her heart. Yet, at the same time, as Hoang says, she has always been business-minded.
Interview: Susanah Aalto