Su­ganya Gra­ham

Alpine Observer - - News -

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.

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