A Look into our past

A story about loss, growth and development. 

 
All that was left after the fire. Taken with Canon 5D MKIII, 24-70mm f2.8 ISO 12800 1/60

All that was left after the fire.

Taken with Canon 5D MKIII, 24-70mm f2.8 ISO 12800 1/60

The past

Grain of Rice first entered Edmonton's restaurant scene as Treasury Restaurant in 2005. Treasury was run by my parents, who took great pride in using locally sourced ingredients in traditional Asian dishes and maintaining a loyal customer base. Unfortunately, the restaurant's success was short-lived. In 2012, Treasury was engulfed by a blazing fire that spread from a neighboring building. 

It wasn't until 2 years later that I began giving the restaurant industry some serious thought. At the time, I was fully immersed in the world of Supply Chain Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). I realized that while I was using my expertise in information technology to help accelerate other people's goals, my family's growth and happiness had come to a grinding halt. It was then that I felt the need to take charge.

In February 2016, I incorporated Grain of Rice under my IoT company and began discussions with Cushman Wakefield to search for a new location. Ambitious, but inexperience and over-confident, I thought that building a restaurant would be as easy as building a supply chain. Little did I know just how challenging it would be. 

Treasury Restaurant @ December 25th 2012 2:03AM. This fire damaged and crippled nearby businesses including Dollarama, Love Pets, Love Boutique, KFC, Richard's Donair, and many more.

Treasury Restaurant @ December 25th 2012 2:03AM. This fire damaged and crippled nearby businesses including Dollarama, Love Pets, Love Boutique, KFC, Richard's Donair, and many more.

The present

"Building a restaurant is by far the most demanding venture I have ever taken on. Factors such as due diligence, cost and budget never see eye to eye and adding unpredictable circumstances to the mix further complicates the task at hand."

Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have CK Design & Associates, Seepish Studios, Tri-Staed Construction, and Jim Pattison Development group assisting me as much as possible. I am equally fortunate to have Mark from The Local Omnivore, Mark from Gunderson LLP, and Chris from Acron Roofing Systems Inc. as mentors. They have provided me with invaluable advice and direction at the most critical moments.

Surround & Drown by firefighters.

Surround & Drown by firefighters.

the future

My purpose for building Grain of Rice is twofold. First, my vision is to create a truly unique dining experience that preserves the traditional foundations of Treasury, but to also embrace fresh millennial ideas. Second, and on a more personal level, the restaurant will allow my parents to continue sharing their love and passion for Asian cuisine.

Grain of Rice will reflect our values of evolution, growth and development. We will be transparent in our approach and incorporate today's best business practices to set the bar for Asian restaurants in Edmonton.

 

- Tony Phung