Pickett Street Properties is dedicated to serving the community and is highlighting businesses and community members that are dedicated to doing the same. This week we are excited to share about Buddha Bruddah.
Drea Mizer, Owner, Operations and Catering Manager shares their story:
My husband, Mark, and I started our business, Buddha Bruddah, back in December 2014. We started as a food truck. Originally, my husband and his mother were planning to open a food truck together. Unfortunately, she passed away before they could realize the dream together. Mark’s mother had one of the first Thai restaurants in Seattle back in 1982, Rama House on 2nd and Bell, and later also had Rama on Post in Post Alley. Mark grew up working in her restaurants and later took over as General Manager/Owner of the restaurant in Post Alley after his father passed away.
I began working in restaurants when I was 15 years old and continued through high school, college and after college. In early 2014, Mark had purchased a food truck and was slowly working on remodeling it when I was unexpectedly laid off from my job as an Operations Manager for a local mortgage company.
That is when I decided to join him and combine our experience to open the food truck together. It was our plan from the beginning to eventually also open a brick and mortar location. Over the years, we kept outgrowing our commissary kitchens as our truck and catering businesses expanded. We looked for over a year to find the right location to open a restaurant and when we found the space on Rainier Ave we knew it was the right one. We really wanted to be part of a growing neighborhood and bring value to the area. We are excited to be in the neighborhood and really enjoy everyone that we meet each day.
- What is your business?
We are a food truck, restaurant, and catering business serving Asian Mixed Plates, Wok Fried Noodles, Homemade Desserts and more. We are currently building a 2nd truck that should hit the streets by the 1st of the new year in 2019.
- Why you do what you do and what is your mission/vision statement?
Ultimately, we do this because we love it. Our goal is to provide a place where there is something for everyone. A comfortable, affordable, neighborhood place where everyone feels welcome and feels like they are coming to our home for a great meal. We make everything in-house and focus on giving excellent customer service every time.
- What do you love the most about what you do?
I love the people we get to interact with. I especially appreciate our private catering for weddings or other special events because it gives me the opportunity to really customize our menu and service. Mark loves cooking and sharing the food he loves with everyone. We are both creative so this business allows us to both showcase what we are great at. He mainly focuses on the “Back of the House” (kitchen) and I focus on “Front of the House” (guest service), and we share everything else that goes along with running a business.
- Where do you find inspiration and motivation?
That varies depending on different aspects of our business. Our kids and our employees are motivation to keep going when we are tired. Mark’s mom is still an inspiration and we use her recipes every day and remember how hard she worked to create her dream of restaurant ownership back in the 80s. Mark’s Uncle Hwang is an inspiration as he helped teach Mark how to cook at an early age. We get inspiration from other chef’s, from things we experience when we travel, from flavor profiles and ingredients we enjoy. We aren’t afraid to try things and then try again if they don’t work out the first time. It’s really all about the journey anyway. We realize that life is short and that we only get one chance at it. We try to make every day count.
- Do you have a mentor in business? If so, who?
Mark would say his parent’s are still mentors even though they aren’t here. They both taught him a lot when he was growing up. His Aunt Peggy is definitely a key sounding board for business decisions. Early on with the food truck we definitely had mentors/friends who were other truck owners that we would collaborate with and bounce ideas off. I think in business it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on around you and to constantly be improving. So everyone we interact with is a bit of a mentor in that they all contribute to our circle of influence. Even feedback from our customers helps us to continue to improve and evolve.
- Favorite quote
You only live once, but if you live it right, once is enough.
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