We had the good fortune of connecting with Ngan Thieu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ngan, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Although there are still so much more I wish to accomplish, I believe the success of Nganstop Snackshop so far has been due to the consistency of our product and our interactions. Consistency in always providing our clients with high quality products and service. Making sure that your first interaction with our product is as exciting as the next. All of our snacks are made in small batches with quality ingredients to ensure that they always taste their best, and making sure that each time you reach out to order – you are treated with excitement and passion.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Outside of Nganstop Snackshop, I am a Product Operations Manager at a medical tech company in Northern CA managing a team of five – specializing in feature and forms delivery. I’ve been at the company for 8+ years and have worn multiple hats throughout my time there. I’ve learned a great deal from my day job that can be applied to my own business and am always looking forward to growing professionally and personally.
I learned that working in operations and operating your own business are two very different things. At work I contribute to one part of an entire ecosystem whereas with owning my own business – I am the sole operator in all aspects. There are definitely challenges to that! I learned to take all the skillsets I acquired throughout the year such as: communication, detail orientation, time and project management and applied that to my own business. Then there are others that I’ve learned through trial and error, through connecting with other small businesses like mine, and through market research that has really helped round out my business model.
Being in the business of turning your passion into tangible success is not easy but it is so worth it! I learned so much about scalability and time prioritization so that I can continue to fuel this passion of mine without burning out. That means having to say ‘no’ to some opportunities even though I really really wanted to say yes. Understanding that has been tremendous because I want to be here for a good time AND a really long time. I’m dedicated to keeping you all snacking Nganstop and am always diligently working to provide you with the most quality and delicious products!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love baking, cooking, and creating in the kitchen – you all know that since that’s the foundation of my business. However, I think I might love eating a little bit more! After all, I do think you need to know how to eat good food to be able to create good food!
So it goes without saying, I would be introducing my friends and family to a ton of food recommendations in the OC/LA area! Some of my favorite go-to spots are: Habanas, Chaak, Gem Dining, Vox Kitchen, Bavel, Kazu Nori, Howlin Rays, Portos, Cream Pan, Omomo, oh my the list goes on and on!
I would also recommending browsing at The Camp and The Lab in Costa Mesa because of how unique the spaces are – you can find boutique shops and eateries or even workout if you wanted to! In addition, I love going to the farmers market and I think we have some great ones in the area with fresh produce and unique local crafts products: Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market and Saturdays at the Irvine Farmer’s Market are some top contenders. The Strands Beach in Dana Point will be great for an early morning stroll during the hot summer months and Disneyland during the fall/winter seasons for festive Halloween and Christmas decor!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The phrase ‘it takes a village’ really rings true! Although I am the sole employee and creator of Nganstop Snackshop, I really could not have done it without the support of family, friends, and the small business food community! My family and friends have been there since day one and have helped in facilitating pick-ups with my customers, taste testing new products, and are the star of my marketing department by introducing my product to their friends and family. A special shout out to my husband for helping me with business operations and always pushing me to think bigger picture and scalability. And last but definitely not least, a big big shoutout to the small business food community! The friendors (friend+vendors) that I have met throughout this journey has been instrumental in getting Nganstop Snackshop to where it is today by including us in pop-up opportunities, providing valuable insights into their business management and operations, vouching for our products, and connecting us with more friendors within this space.
I am extremely grateful to have such a supportive circle which has made the growth of my business possible and I am excited for the future of Nganstop Snackshop.