Owner, Yummi Blox and Hong Kong Supermarket
What are you working on now?
Siouxland has always been my home and I am in love with our community! One thing that I’ve learned in my years here, is that people and their commitment to our community are what make living here great and I’m grateful to be a part of that mission. What’s amazing is that our family-owned Hong Kong Supermarket isn’t just a store. It’s a one-stop-shop for hundreds of Siouxland newcomers and long-time residents to shop for groceries and socialize, too. While our store has a multitude of products, we also have a multitude of resources and information, helping direct people to the right places.
For example, if people need help with English Language Learning classes, then we refer them to local agencies that provide these services, like the Mary J. Treglia Community House. I have always been deeply passionate about building bridges and relationships in our community. I have always been networking and communicating with our Asian community in hosting local events, such as the Siouxland Asian Festival held in the summer and the Vietnamese New Year’s celebration, held in February at the Pho Mon Temple.
It’s a privilege to be able to fulfill that role and help enhance the quality of life for fellow Sioux Citians of all ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, and abilities. I recently opened Yummi Blox to support economic development on West 7th, while supporting small food truck small business efforts. As a new mother it is important to continue the work of celebrating many different cultures, education, and uphold my civic duties to keep our community together.
What is your vision for the future? / What would you like to see happen in Siouxland?
My volunteer experience has taught me to see the hidden opportunities in difficult situations. After hosting a decade of Siouxland Asian Festivals, I know what it takes to lead with positive collaboration and encouraging others to go the extra mile. This annual event invites hundreds of people, not only from our Asian communities but from diverse groups of people from all walks of life. It’s a great event for people to make connections, learn from each other, and celebrate the beauty of our Asian heritage.
What are you doing to make that happen?
Next year, 2022, is going to be a BIG YEAR for the Siouxland Asian Festival. This is going to be our 10th year! I’m so proud of how far this event has come! The annual Siouxland Asian Festival brings hundreds of people from all over the tri-state region. This festival is an expressive way for us to celebrate our heritage, culture, and traditions. It is also meant to rejoice in the special moments with our loved ones and leaders among the Asian communities in Siouxland. Next year’s event will be bigger and better – and to make this happen, we have a committee of dedicated people who are incredibly passionate about making each Asian Festival a success! From spreading the word in the community to our local media, we have the tools and resources for what it takes to create a stronger presence!
How can people help you make that happen?
The greatest help is willing to be educated, learn and embrace other communities. My greatest desire is to see people continue to get involved and stand up for the betterment of community and diverse populations.
What is the most important key to success?
Communication and action. When a thought comes about, action has to happen. Mistakes are bound to happen and can always be adjusted along the way with communication, and I’m so thankful that we have an awesome team that thrives on these two principles. We not only come up with ideas but execute them.
What is one challenging life experience that taught you something you’ve been able to use to your benefit or to the benefit of others?
Make mistakes! Learn from mistakes. Adapt and move on. A mistake that makes you humble is better than an achievement that makes you arrogant.
What quote or saying inspires you?
Always ask questions. If you don’t ask questions, the answer will always be no.
Asian Pacific Islander Commissioner for the State of Iowa
Co-Founder of Siouxland Asian Fest
Volunteer for the Inclusive Sioux City Advisory Committee and Mary J. Treglia Community House