Celebrating 10 years, Silk Thai is an authentic Thai restaurant that utilises the fresh and seasonal produce to create delicious dishes. We sat down with one of the co-owners Pamela to discover their local business story.
What is your name and role at Silk Thai?
My name is Pamela Purgpewwong and my business partner’s name is David Viola. We both own Silk Thai. My role is also Head Chef.
Tell us about your business story:
I opened Silk Thai Restaurant on the 25th of June 2007. I was 26 years old. Some how I had found myself buying a restaurant after my parents suggested that I was ready to own my own business.
I learnt all my cooking skills from my mother, who was a chef and had owned many Thai restaurants in Melbourne since the early 90’s. I had grown up in restaurants-literally. Therefore, I found it surprisingly easy to run my business so early on. I had learnt so much from working with my parents.
David my partner joined the company a year ago, he’s helped me expand the business and shared the management duties.
When did you start in the industry?
I began cooking at a very young age, early teens. My brother and I would both help out at our parent’s restaurant in Chapel street. I used to waitress and sometimes I would help cook. Ive been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years!
What made you want to start your own small business?
It naturally happened,I didnt think too hard about it, I had been working full time with my family at their restaurant, I was a fully trained chef by then so my parents helped me look for a location for my own restaurant and we all knew that Preston didn’t have many Thai restaurants at the time, so it was perfect.
How long have you had the business for ?
10 years this past June
What do you love most about having a business in Preston?
I love the fact that I grew up in the area, this is my stomping ground as a kid, so I feel very proud watching the area change. I hope that my restaurant has helped it grow as well!
Do you do anything to surprise and delight your customers?
We like to always try to say yes to most requests! I have even made a personal menu for a regular customer who has strict dietary needs, he says he cant go out to any restaurants because of his diet, so he really appreciates having his own personal menu at Silk Thai (which is even named after him!)
What is your favourite local business in your area?
My favourite place would have to be Tasties on High St Preston. Great coffee, food and service.
Do you have any advice for small businesses just starting up?
I would advice that they must make their product or service different from the rest. Be open-minded, listen to feedback, be it good or bad. Be humble.
What’s one quirky fact about your business?
Our restaurant interior design was all done by my partner and I. We exposed the bricks ourselves with our bare hands! We took photos of a food market while on a trip to Thailand to make canvases out of them and we’ve hung them in the restaurant. So our restaurant decor is very personal.
Do you have a business tagline or customer promise?
We don’t cut corners or compromise in flavour. If its not amazing in taste it won’t have a place on our menu!