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Hoa Nguyen

From humble beginnings in Vietnam, Hoa grew up as the oldest of six children.

Each day it was a struggle to get food on the table, and as her parents saved up for their daughter’s education, Hoa got a job at the age of eleven to help make ends meet. One day their family received an encouraging letter from their cousins in America, Mr. Van and Mrs. Kim Nguyen. From that point on, Hoa’s parents knew it was in their children’s best interest to move to the United States for a better education and brighter future.

For years her parents saved up money for the big move. During this time Hoa was introduced to the church and would spend her time helping with readings, choir practice and preparation for mass. Although this season of her life required patience, she found peace and hope through her time spent with other believers and discovered her passion for ministry. 

Moving to the United States was a complete culture shock for Hoa and her family. Their relatives, Van and Kim Nguyen did everything they could to ease the transition by providing them with a place to live. Six months later, Hoa’s family moved into their own apartment and everyone pitched in to provide for the family. 

Hoa and her siblings worked long days, followed by long nights and numerous ESL classes. As a student, Hoa was determined to be able to read and write in English, but worried about her pronunciation and how it might affect her everyday communication skills. She took matters into her own hands and applied for a job at a local grocery store for more exposure to the English language. 

Shortly after, Van and Kim opened Van’s Kitchen, and Hoa transitioned to working alongside her relatives while attending college. As a young professional, Van and Kim poured into Hoa and pushed her to be the best she could be. They taught her the ins and outs of running a business, and provided her with financial and spiritual advice. After a couple years in the family business, Hoa ultimately decided to leave Van’s Kitchen and make her own path.

For the next ten years, Hoa searched for her purpose in this new country she called home. She landed a new job, bought a house and got married. Her impressive work ethic plus the various positions she held throughout the years allowed her to earn a Manager position at a Restaurant that moved her to Oklahoma and away from family. 

One night Hoa received a call from Mrs. Kim, who begged her to come back to Van’s Kitchen. With the passing of her parents and her marriage ending, Hoa agreed and moved back to Texas. Upon her return to Van’s Kitchen, Hoa worked in the Quality Department and eventually assisted with Production when Mrs. Kim retired. Hoa’s training and efforts to improve the company allowed Vans Kitchen to become SQF Level 3 certified, which is still in effect today. 

Twenty years later and Hoa still remains a huge part of the Van’s Kitchen team and founding story. She is currently involved in the management team and is a voice for all Roll Models everywhere, in her position as the Roll Model Ambassador. Hoa truly believes that God called her to Van’s Kitchen and uses it as a ministry opportunity to encourage others towards fulfilling their dreams.

Today, Hoa speaks three languages and does everything in her power to relate, connect and empower those around her. She learned Spanish in order to build relationships with all Roll Models and offers support and guidance for women who are struggling in a new country, in marriage, or with similar upbringings. 

Hoa has impacted Van’s Kitchen just as much as the organization and its founders have impacted her life. Hoa is excited for whatever God has in store for the future, but for now she will continue to be a light at Van’s Kitchen as she impacts and empowers others with her incredible story and servant heart. She will forever be a huge part of the Van’s Kitchen legacy!

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