ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN) — "We're taking baby steps," owner of Tuk Tuk Thai Street Food, Bud Sayso said.
"I don't know if I have a secret but it's the strategy where we planned it."
Along with his wife Noy, Sayso came to Tucson last summer with the intent of cashing in on the limited number of Thai restaurants.
Bud admits that coming to Tucson at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic came with its challenges.
"I didn't pronounce 'La Canada' correctly, Ina and skyline and sunrise are all the same road."
He said they had a plan and saw it through.
"Every business has their ups and downs."
The world didn't make it easy to bring in business.
"When they had the curfew, we were nervous about it. Different mandating and all the regulations that scared the people."
The couple said they had to cut their staff by half.
"Wow, we were down to 13, 12 to 13 at one point."
They're looking forward to hiring more employees at their new location.
"I kind of guessed about maybe 17 or 18," Noy said.
The first location on Campbell is fully staffed.
"On (our) first location, we start from 21and now we have 23."
The Saysos said they're glad to employ people at such a tough time, even giving a job to a Guatamalan immigrant.
"He didn't speak English and all he wants is a 'trabajo' and we hired him the next day. We put him to work and he didn't have any experience, we trained him, and he just does his job and we feed him. We treat him like a family."
They said their customers got them through a rocky start, even coming from as far as Oro Valley for their food.
"We get a lot of people who say 'oh, we can't until you guys open up there!'"
That's what they're doing, they say they expect to open their second location on Oracle Road later this month.