JON NGUYEN Q&A
What is your organization/company
Tran An & Dyl’s Marketplace; Owner
What do you (or your company) do?
We have a fast-casual Vietnamese Restaurant and a hyper-local gift/art shop.
What got you into what you do?
Well, I was well on my way to Law School after College, but I realized about a month before starting Law School that I would probably be a terrible lawyer and I’d be a miserable human if I stayed on that path. So I sat in my room on night and thought to myself, “Owning a restaurant would be the coolest thing ever!”
15 years later, here I am.
Tell us about what you’re working on.
The goal is to create a brand that people can recognize nationally and beyond and shift the way
people view fast casual dining. I hope that one day Tran An can be a bridge that connects
Vietnamese food to every corner of every community and eventually breaking down all current pretenses of what “Vietnamese Restaurants” are supposed to look like.
What is it that inspires you or this project?
My family inspires me. My team inspires me. All my mentors inspire me. Talented individuals
making cool sh*t all around inspire me the most and keep me pushing harder.
What is your passion outside of your career/current role?
I just love hanging out with my son. We don’t live together at the moment, so every chance I get to
see him, it’s like the best time ever with him.
Who do you hope people notice most about you?
I hope people will see that I’m a good human.
Any specific life experience that has changed your outlook of life?
Having my son really took my productivity to a whole new level, and put my focus into such an
acute sharpness that really transformed how I make my decisions and how I spend my time.
Very little time is wasted and everything is done with purpose.
We are currently working with REEF to scale our brand nationally, and hopefully find a home for our
2nd location and eventual flagship restaurant.
What is your favorite part about your industry?
I think the hospitality industry is made up of some of the most resilient and resourceful people of
any industry. Our challenges are unlike any others, yet we always find ways to survive and thrive.
As dysfunctional as it is most of the time, the humans that make up this industry are the ones who really inspire me the most.
What would present you tell your younger self?
Don’t put time limits on the things you want. As long as do the right things and be a good person,
the right opportunity will present itself to you.