UNO restaurateur’s second venture


Samantha Weideman

A photo of a woman in front of her restaurant
Chloe Tran says owning two storefronts “feels crazy.” Photo by Mars Nevada/the Gateway

A little less than two years after opening The Bánh Mì Shop in Bellevue, University of Nebraska at Omaha student Chloe Tran opened the second location of her store at the Inner Rail Food Hall on Oct. 3.

This spring, Chef Nawab and Hospitality HQ approached Tran about moving into a stall at Inner Rail. She was intrigued. After learning more about the project and negotiating for her store’s closure each Sunday, she said it became easy to say ‘yes’ to the opportunity.

Hospitality HQ and Eimer Design of Philadelphia worked with Tran to design her stall and put it together, relieving much of the responsibility from Tran and her staff.

“It’s more like opening one and a half stores instead of two,” Tran said.

The most challenging aspect of managing both stores for Tran and her staff comes down to inventory. Because it’s difficult to gauge the level of traffic, (and the limited space at the Inner Rail location), Tran said they’ve had a hard time keeping up with both stores.

“Honestly, it has been a lot better than I would have imagined,” Tran said.

With less than a semester of her undergraduate education to complete, and a business degree on the horizon, Tran’s top priority is school. Attending classes, doing homework and completing assignments comes before dropping by either of her locations. Luckily, she has plenty of well-trained staff to take care of the stores.

“I have a very reliable staff who cares about the business just as much as I do on a daily operation,” Tran said. “That has been really helpful.”

With almost two years of business ownership under her belt, Tran has learned it’s much harder than it looks. Along with understanding the level of responsibility that comes with the occupation, she said she enjoys the freedom to do what she wants with her business.

“When push comes to shove, you’re the only one left who really has to stay and push through it,” Tran said. “But you have a lot of freedom about what you want to do and how you want to do things. So being able to be in control of how I want to do things is probably the biggest reward.”

Tran said she still feels blown away by her reality.

“Honestly, it feels crazy,” Tran said. “I find a hard time believing that this is true. When I wake up in the morning, I’m just like, ‘Oh my God, I have two stores to run today.’ When the first store opened, I couldn’t even believe I could have a business here, needless to say a second store.”