What do you do?
I run Suganya’s Thai Restaurant in Bright. The restaurant is open seven nights a week and we also do lunch during the summer, so I am always busy.
How did you come to be running a restaurant in Bright?
Thai food is my passion. I grew up with my Grandmother and sisters in central Thailand near Phitsanulok, which is about half way between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Traditional Thai values were very important in our household. We were taught to always greet people politely with a ‘wai’ (hands together and head slightly bowed), say ‘kop khun kaa” (thank you), respect our elders and, of course, smile. Food and ’sanook’ (fun) are central to Thai culture. Any gathering or celebration involves food. Even when we drop in to visit someone, we will always take something tasty to eat.
Grandma was passionate about her cooking and often catered for local village functions. I loved helping her and soon learned that all of the trees and plants in our garden were ingredients for something and not just shade. The diversity of Thai food is amazing. There are many different styles of cooking based around regional ingredients and tastes. I include many of these dishes on our menu but adapt them to my taste, so our customers will like them. Of course, most of our customers are non-Thai and it’s very rewarding to see people discover and enjoy my food.
After moving to Bright in the midnineties, I ran ‘Thai Nights’ at a couple of local restaurants which proved to be very popular. The next step was to open my own restaurant which I did in August 2009.
What makes your restaurant so successful?
Good food is obviously a large part of our success, but we have an energetic team, a happy working environment as well as great support from the locals and local businesses who often recommend us to visitors.
What do you like about this area?
Bright is beautiful with something to offer in every season. I will never forget seeing snow for the first time when I came to visit many years ago. My two boys love it here. I feel privileged to be able to live here with my family and run a local business.
Do you have any plans for the future?
It’s been 9 years now since the restaurant opened. My passion is Thai cooking and I look forward to bringing more new dishes to the table. With the support of our customers, I plan for Suganya’s Thai Restaurant to be part of Bright for many more years to come.