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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

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Ngoc Le and Triet Tra

Eat-Well Food Mart

At the intersection of Canal and Broad Streets, a geographic and social crossroads of New Orleans, lies the Eat-Well Food Mart, where a steady stream of customers arrive to buy brown-bagged beer, salty and sugary snacks, and bánh mì, the Vietnamese equivalent of the local po-boy sandwich. Triet Tra and her husband Dong Huynh opened their convenience store-meets-Vietnamese deli in 2012. For the previous decade she ran stores across the Greater New Orleans area: a grocery and American deli Uptown, followed by a seafood emporium on the West Bank. At Eat-Well Triet came into her own to serve specialities from her home country — the nation she left in 1985 — bánh mì, pho, bun (grilled meat over rice noodles), and bánh xèo (rice paper crepe). She uses bread from Hi Do Bakery, and dresses the sandwiches with homemade sriracha aioli. Eat-Well Food Mart is a Vietnamese eatery that shows just how far the community has come in the past forty years.

Date of interview:

Rien Fertel | Translated by Ngoc Le

Rien Fertel

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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