A loan of $5,000 helped pay for restaurant supplies so that I can open my doors to the public.

Ki's story

My name is Ki and I plan to use my Kiva Zip loan to invest in our new family restaurant, L&G Sandwiches. I have lived in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco for over 20 years, but originally I was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. While I was growing up, I worked in my parents' grocery store with my siblings full-time. I was unable to attend school for more than 2 years.

In 1975, when I was 13 years old, Cambodia’s 1975 civil war drove my family from their home into the countryside to live on our relative’s farm for four years. During this war, 25% of Cambodia’s population died from starvation or disease. After the war, the victorious Communist Khmer Rouge regime slaughtered many millions of people in my country. To save ourselves, we fled in the middle of the night to a refugee camp just over the border in Vietnam in the Song Be Province. This was 1979.

I stayed in the Cambodian refugee camp in Song Be province for the next 12 years. During this time, I met my husband and had my first child. While in the camp, we made ends meet by running a small business. I had my own grocery store that sold produce from the nearby farms. I was able to provide basic necessities, such as rice and salt, to my fellow refugees.

In 1992, my husband’s sister sponsored us to immigrate to the U.S. We moved directly to the Tenderloin and have been here ever since. Over the last 22 years, we raised three beautiful children from our one bedroom apartment. During this time, my husband and I have worked in food production- first I worked in a Vietnamese restaurant as a cook then I transitioned to a waitress in a different Vietnamese café.

I have always loved to cook Vietnamese food and dream of bringing good food to people. I want to build this restaurant to become a hub in the Tenderloin for the Vietnamese community. The Tenderloin is very important to south-east Asian people, since we have a large community here. Our restaurant will build the community and make the neighborhood a better place for all of us.

Loan details

About L&G Vietnamese Sandwiches

Industry: Food
Years in operation: New Business

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details