The secret to Success Thai is community

Kan and Goy Kingkaew and are happy to be opening their doors post-lockdown. Photo Tree Faerie

Goy and Kan Kingkaew have literally come full circle in the community they have come to call home.

Both born in Thailand, Goy was a secretary and Kan was a building contractor in Bangkok. It was the newlywed Kan who first came to Australia following his mother Pramuk, who was a chef at the famous Lemongrass Thai Restaurant in Melbourne.

To say that Kan and Goy have done the rounds in Byron is an understatement. When Pramuk moved to Byron Bay she worked at Byron Thai, which was the very same shopfront that Success Thai now has on Lawson Street. It was here Kan got his first taste of the restaurant business under Pramuk’s guidance, and he also began to become part of the Byron Bay community. When the building was sold, the restaurant closed, and he worked at a Thai restaurant in Ballina, and Koy was able to join him.

Their next move was into their own place in a new partnership in the Feros Arcade, called Thai at Byron, where they enjoyed six years of getting to know the locals and deepening their connection with the town. Sadly, their business partner passed away. Goy and Kan branched out on their own with their first Success Thai in Jonson Street, opposite the old Woolworths. Success Thai Food was the perfect name for the couple’s business, which grew, as did their family – with three beautiful boys helping them become even closer to the community through playgroups, schools and soccer teams. Success Thai thrived for seven years before moving back to Lawson Street, where they have been for two years.

In all their moves their regular customers have followed, enjoying their wonderful food. ‘For nearly 17 years our customers have kept coming back,’ says Goy. ‘Many of our regulars don’t even need to say what they want! They just come in and smile and we know what their “usual” is. They come back for the same thing every time.’

Goy says that they pretty much keep the menu the same – because that’s what the customers keep coming back for. They have many vegan options. ‘We occasionally do some special meals and something new, but we find our regulars enjoy their favourites, so we stick to what they love. Pad Thai is a really popular one, and the Chilli Jam stir fry is another favourite, but really, we sell a lot of everything on the menu, so we don’t often change. It’s what the customers want.’

Goy says they generally sell more curries during the winter months, in particular the traditional slow-cooked beef Massaman.

Goy really appreciates the support of the locals and is grateful they still came out during the pandemic. She and Kan are really happy and excited to have reopened their doors on Monday for seated customers and to have returned to their pre-lockdown opening hours. ‘We want to thank everyone so much for supporting Success Thai, and we look forward to welcoming you back.’

Call Success Thai on 0421 902 855 to make a booking to eat in or to order takeaway, and follow them on Facebook: Success Thai Food.

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