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Vietnamese restaurant wins $1mn in US top industry competition

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The Savory Fund selected Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Hustle in Houston, Texas as the winner of its Million Dollar Restaurant Launch competition with a US$1 million venture capital investment, according to lifestyle news site CultureMap.

The private equity firm, owned by restaurant operators, picked the Vietnamese restaurant from a pool of more than 240 applicants.

In addition to the money, the investment brings marketing support and access to tools that allow a restaurant to assess its financial performance.

First launched as a ghost kitchen in 2020, Saigon Hustle opened a dedicated bricks-and-mortar restaurant in February. 

The fast casual, drive-thru concept offers both well-executed takes on classic Vietnamese fare as well as creative interpretations, such as honey-glazed salmon rolls or a twist on the classic ‘bánh xèo’ — a flour and turmeric crepe filled with braised pork belly, shrimp, and vegetables, CultureMap described.

Winning the competition will allow Saigon Hustle founders Cassie Ghaffar and Sandy Nguyen to open a second location of the fast casual restaurant.

Nguyen expressed her admiration for Savory Fund’s experience growing restaurants into multi-unit operations in a message to CultureMap.

“More importantly the managing partner also comes from the tech industry,” the news site quoted Nguyen’s message.

“They have an amazing team for every aspect to run a successful brand, and that’s what’s so admirable and respectable. 

“We are beyond thrilled at the opportunities we have with them.”

Saigon Hustle is one of three establishments Ghaffar and Nguyen operate as part of their Ordinary Concepts hospitality group. 

They also own a coffee shop and café in Garden Oaks that is adjacent to Saigon Hustle as well as a healthy eating restaurant in Hermann Park.

Created in 2020, the $200 million Savory Fund has backed chains such as The Crack Shack, Swig, R&R Barbeque, Via 313 and Pincho, according to RestaurantBusinessOnline.com

Savory Fund opened its call last fall with the intent of awarding a restaurant entrepreneur the resources to open or assist with their second location. 

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20220801/vietnamese-restaurant-wins-1mn-in-us-top-industry-competition/68388.html

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Number of Indians applying for Vietnam visas jumps 24-fold following COVID-19 pandemic

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The number of Indians applying for visas to Vietnam jumped by a whopping 2,400 percent following the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating Indian people’s growing interest in visiting the Southeast Asian country.

The Department of Tourism in Da Nang City, central Vietnam and Vietnamese budget carrier Vietjet Air organized a program in New Delhi, India on Thursday to promote Da Nang tourism.

The event was an opportunity to introduce the coastal city’s tourism to Indian businesses and tourists, as well as highlight its popular attractions and exciting festivals.

The program also provided information on products and services, especially service packages at beach resorts, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) tourism, and wedding tourism.

The demand for overseas travel of Indian citizens is extremely high following a two-year halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau.

The number of Indian citizens applying for Vietnamese visas on a daily basis has increased by about 24 times in the wake of the pandemic, Chau continued, adding that the Embassy of Vietnam in India currently receives about 6,000 visa applications each day.

There have also been requests for assistance in organizing wedding ceremonies and conferences in Vietnam.

At the event, Vietjet Air introduced to its Indian partners a direct flight network from major Indian cities to Vietnam, including Da Nang.

Two direct flights from Mumbai and New Delhi to Da Nang will launch on October 17 and 18.

The airline is also scheduled to launch three new routes to Da Nang from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad on November 28, November 29, and December 1, respectively.

Nguyen Duc Quynh, vice-president of the Da Nang Tourism Association, believed that India will be an important market for the Vietnamese city’s tourism industry during the period of post-pandemic recovery.

The country’s relaxed policies and increasing travel demand will give rise to a source of visitors that will help offset the drop in tourists from traditional markets in Northeast Asia, where many nations have yet to fully reopen to international tourism, Quynh elaborated.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20220805/number-of-indians-applying-for-vietnam-visas-jumps-24fold-following-covid19-pandemic/68453.html

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Vietnamese woman devotes heart, soul to saving thousands of cats, dogs from slaughter

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Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen has spent the past six years saving thousands of cats and dogs from slaughterhouses in Ho Chi Minh City.

About six years ago, Quyen’s dog disappeared. Fearing the worst, she turned the search for her missing dog toward local slaughterhouses. 

It was during this hunt, when she discovered dozens of cats and dogs locked away in cages waiting to be butchered, that she resolved to save as many cats and dogs as she could.

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen cares for cats and dogs at the rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen cares for cats and dogs at the rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

On that trip she wound up buying each and every animal from the slaughterhouse.

Now, more than six years later, she has saved nearly a thousand cats and dogs from sure demise.

Over the years, Quyen’s rescue operation ballooned in size to the point that she was forced to move her rescues out of her home and into a shelter she built on a 2,000-squre-meter rented lot on Nguyen Thi Se Street in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Inside the shelter, Quyen has built bamboo beds and lofts for the 600 cats and dogs that currently call it ‘home.’ 

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen and a volunteer give medicine to a sick dog at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen and a volunteer give medicine to a sick dog at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Though some of the animals at the shelter were strays, most were rescued by Quyen from abattoirs. 

At first, many of these animals were terrified of strangers, but over time they began to trust Quyen.

The shelter is primarily funded by the money she pulls in from running a noodle cart.

“I received a lot of support from my family when I first started my shelter. Other relatives thought I was insane, but I ignored them and focused on caring for the animals,” Quyen said.

“I need to find a larger location for a new rescue center because I keep rescuing more and more cats and dogs.

“Fortunately, [my current] landlord sees the good things I’m doing and no longer asks me to pay rent.”

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen bathes a cat at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen bathes a cat at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Every day, volunteers from neighboring districts and provinces join Quyen and her husband to help care for the animals.

“The center is currently being renovated so that we can save more cats,” she shared.

“I hope that, in the near future, this space will not only be a place to rescue dogs and cats, but also a place for animal lovers and veterinary trainees to learn how to care for animals.”

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen plays with the cats and dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen plays with cats and dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen feeds the cats and dogs at the rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen feeds cats and dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen prepares food for the cats and dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen prepares food for cats and dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen and a volunteer prepare food for the rescued animals at her shelter in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen and a volunteer prepare food for the rescued animals at her shelter in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen plays with the cats at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen plays with cats at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen plays with the cats and dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen plays with cats and dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen and a volunteer play with the dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Nhu Quyen and a volunteer play with dogs at her rescue center in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20220804/vietnamese-woman-devotes-heart-soul-to-saving-thousands-of-cats-dogs-from-slaughter/68432.html

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Hanoi exhibition showcases failed architecture projects

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An exhibition in Hanoi recently attracted art lovers with its novel display of design ideas by local architects that were rejected by investors.

Exhibitions featuring successful design proposals that have been built have long been commonplace events for the wider public. 

Nguyen Ha, a Hanoi architect, embarked on her own journey to go against the crowd’s interests by showing 24 design models rejected by investors for a variety of reasons, some of which are rather amusing.

A 3D printed architectural model of an accommodation that was rejected since the client changed the investment strategy. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of an accommodation compound that was rejected since the client changed the investment strategy. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

The exhibition is taking at Manzi Art Space on Hang Bun Street in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, and will last until August 21.

Despite being rejected by investors, the architecture designs on display astonished other architects and art enthusiasts with their distinctive ideas that surpass standard architectural thinking.

A 3D printed architectural model of a dormitory that was rejected by clients. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of a dormitory that was rejected by clients. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

According to the organizers, since these 24 designs have never been constructed, they represent original, unconstrained creative concepts of architects that were never influenced by requests for concessions and adjustments from other participants.

In this exhibition, visitors can also uncover endless humorous reasons why investors turned down architect designs.

A house reclamation project that was not constructed due to its complicated design. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A house reclamation project that was not constructed due to its complicated design. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

For instance, an investor refused the design of a worker’s boarding house, partly because it was too magnificient and dreamlike, causing them not to recognize it as a worker’s boarding house. 

A 3D printed architectural model of a museum that was rejected by clients since it cost three times the budgeted amount. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of a museum that was rejected by clients since it cost three times the budgeted amount. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of a children’s cultural center that was rejected due to its obscure design. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of a children’s cultural center that was turned down due to its obscure design. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of a hospital that was rejected by clients. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of a hospital that was refused by clients. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A hotel design that was rejected after the investor realized that constructing a hotel would not be financially sustainable. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A hotel design that was rejected after the investor realized that constructing a hotel would not be financially sustainable. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of a hotel that was rejected by clients. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A 3D printed architectural model of a hotel that was rejected by clients. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20220803/hanoi-exhibition-showcases-failed-architecture-projects/68411.html

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