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Chef Mo from Sala Modern Thai Kitchen is starting to document her journey on opening another restaurant through weekly vlogs.
Sala Modern Thai Kitchen has been around on Danforth for over 4 years and Chef Mo––the co-owner––felt it was time to bring her modern and unique take on Thai food to a new neighbourhood. She decided to vlog every step of opening a new restaurant after a team member suggested it. Her hopes are to inspire other small business entrepreneurs to get out and expand their own business ideas.
"Many of us have been impacted by the pandemic, many are looking for guidance or a positive example," she says. "All of this will be in our vlog––leadership, building a team, menu development, finances, location search and inspiration when starting a new business."
Chef Mo is hoping to engage other business owners and local Mississauga residents through her vlogs, to inspire but also educate them about opening a business.
"It’s not all unicorns and rainbows when trying to open a new restaurant."
Over the years, Chef Mo had noticed more and more people coming to her east-end restaurant from Mississauga. When they had expressed that there was interest from that group of people, she jumped at the opportunity to open up a new location west of the city.
Chef Mo has been gradually working on adapting the menu to suit vegan customers, resulting in 80 per cent of her menu being vegan-friendly. She is also exploring more gluten-free options as well as halal, as per customer requests. As a Thai chef with 10-plus years of experience, Chef Mo says she's able to develop alternatives to dishes that would traditionally include animal products––most notably ingredients like shrimp paste or fish sauce––and make them vegan friendly while not losing that authentic taste.
As for her newfound vlogging duties, Chef Mo credits an amazing team and support system that has also helped Sala grow on social media.
"None of this would have been possible without my amazing team, my husband," she says. "Thanks to [them], Sala became one of the most engaging Thai food pages in Toronto––happy to have [their] guidance on the vlog and overall strategy."
Throughout the pandemic, Sala has found fun ways to connect with their community, such as their popular '20 squats and get 20 per cent off' challenge or encouraging their customers to share their worst cooking story to win a Sala Thai Meal Kit.
If you want to keep up to date with their journey and expertise on how to open a new restaurant, they post their vlogs on their Instagram page.