Johnny: It's also, you know, anything like that, such a really important thing because, you know, it almost seems like we're all talking in the same room because so many of the same topic feels like you can hear from both conversation. Right. Especially with the whole like the whole education piece for me.
Tam: Let me build upon that part. Yeah. In your traditional like Vietnamese Vietnamese business, it's very top down economy. And so they just go back a generation. You think about it. I mean, maybe your parents, your parents, parents that like it's very authoritative. So it's very like "I'm the elder, you listen to what I say". And then that's it, I had the experience and the knowledge. So I think with Reign, our goal is to make collaborative. And so a lot of organization will talk about being collaborative, but then they don't practice what they preach. So I think the fact that we share a lot of the same ideas and thoughts about Reign shows that it is a collaborative.
Johnny: Because I think like and I totally agree with that, you know, because if you let your teams' voice be really a part of the DNA of that place, then the genuine and like authenticity of the place will shine through yet right in the product, in that environment and divides go through everything, right. And if anything, it's very you got to be able to do that. Can you speak a little bit more like what the values are that you see for Reign?
Tam: We have five. One is always learning even. One is be real. One is work hard, play hard. So that's three. One is like (........) Positvity! Yeah. We're back to power of positivity. Work hard. Play hard. All right. So, yeah. So those are the values that because.
Johnny: And again, it's almost that we're all sitting at the same time. But a lot of those same values like shine through. Yeah. Right. And I think one of the really awesome things that occurred. I mean, Kathy said is how like one of the most important things that you guys are trying to do at Reign is building relationships with anybody and everybody that walks through it. Right. And I think during that time, like COVID situation. It's been more difficult because the interaction is that you guys have like carefully built, has now been cut so short, right? Not because you guys wanted to, but because of, like, for safety and health reasons but also because of like regulations, like how has. How do you feel like you're still kind of built those like human connections in such like every single day, changing like environment? Yeah.
Tam: So virtually through social media engagement. But I think the fact that that we're still open. Right. You know, that like. We can still at least connect in some way. Versus it's not no connection at all. I think. I think people appreciate how we've made adjustments and how we're trying to find solutions to here to stay open and then also to serve our products. So I don't know if that helps us build the relationship. But, you know. Right. So for Reign when we thought about possibly closing. We thought about our customers, and then we thought about the fact that we have a responsibility to serve our customers. Right. And so because we recognize a responsibility and we made exhaustive efforts to stay open and figure out a safe way to serve our customers. I'm thinking the customers see and feel that. And I think that strengthens relationships. Right, because there's a lot of other businesses have closed down. And so it's like "I used to get my stuff here every day and now I can't". Right. So I think we've definitely, um, not only have we strengthened relationships with our existing customers, but we've made a bunch more..
Johnny: No, definitely, and because I think like I think one really awesome thing this heard from you is that, like, fight, you guys stay open. You guys are serving the community like the one that always comes. Right, because it is such strange time. Every single day is something new, something different. It's like by having a place that before we go to be open to providing those drinks or food or whatever. You always love it provides a level of comfort that you can't really get elsewhere.
Tam: Yeah, we've got that. What? It's about life. It's like that sense of normalcy. Yeah. Why are these all kind of messed up right now? But like, I can count on Reign. And this is like my routine. So at least this is this is the same. Right. So, yeah, definitely no.
Johnny: And like to connect it from like Pho Hoa, like what your dad said, you know Pho Hoa was always open, And it seemed to me like you're taking those very same values.
Tam: Close, we still close for holidays! There's a balance. Yeah. Yes. Yes. It comes back to the correlation I'll make there. It's about purpose. Right. And if if the business is self-serving, which is like I'm just going to make money, then then you operate it when it's convenient for you.
Tam: So if things go you close or whatever. Right. But if your purpose is to serve the people then that shifts how you run the business. Obstacles happen, and then, you know, you you stay centered on what your goal is, which is to serve the people. And then so that puts you in that mindset to do whatever it takes to get to stay the same.
Johnny: Which is awesome, because I think that. I personally feel like the community sees all the effort that you all has put in to still provide quality products. Still trying to be open, trying to adapt to the change. Yeah, because I can imagine, you know, like there it's much more limited spaces, places are open right now. And because you guys are offering something that you can't really get elsewhere, it's it's much easier to cut down on quality or whatever to make things easier for you guys. But at the end of the day, quality simply is one of the few like one of the main things in your place.
Tam: Well, our stuff isn't cheap. You know, we're not trying to sell cheap products and we're trying to sell quality products. And so quality, you can't cut corners with your quality. you can't cut corners with your beans, get cut corners on how you produce your product. You can't cut cut corners on how you staff it. Right. We could run to Slim. We could run a slim crew right there, just like, you know, that that would save the business money if we ran a slim crew and then people would have to wait longer. And then drinks will be made rushed and stuff like that. But no, we we make sure that we maintain a level of quality. I'll move from this a little bit, but through Reign, It's like 400 SQ Foot, which I'll say it's his 400 sq foot shop. You know, I say that because that's small. Like Pho Hoa, like three thousand square feet, Pho Linh like twenty four hundred square feet. We're talking like 10 times the size. Right. But regardless of the size that you can so make an impact and so it's with who we hire and our position in the community of just like being in Dorchester Fields Corner, you know, we feel like, you know, we can we can show something, you know. Right. We can show something and just it doesn't matter does matter how big this one this is. You can you can show how you want to do things. Right. And I would say be exampl or show example, whatever, but, you know, if if we want to, like, spread positivity, create community and whatever it is like through our shop, we can do that.
Johnny: And they like to kind of go back a little bit to like the way that you describe, like how you guys maintain quality and how you guys don't cut corners. And it seems like that has. By not cutting corners and by maintaining the quality, I feel like that feeds everything else that you guys are striving for. I think especially like for not having like a slimmed down crew that shows that you're taking care of your team and therefore, like there's like more self care there. And that positive positivity, which is one of your values, extends upon to the community, to the people that comes into people that look like the people that engages with the audience with Reign on a daily basis.
Tam: If we're going to talk about quality. That's like one of your hallmarks is being a high quality, whatever it it has to be everywhere. Yeah. Right. It can't just be in this one spot. It's guiding the whole thing. So whether it's. Your game for who you hire, your standards for, how hard you work, how clean we are like. And then it's that it trickles down to how we pay. Right. Like how we take care of our employees financially, emotionally, whatever it is. Right. Problems come up and stuff like that. It's. Like, if the goal. I'm not saying the goals be perfect. Perfection or but if the goal is for excellence. Right. Then you can't turn it on and turn it off. You have to be excellent everywhere. No.
Johnny: And then they like one of the things I hear from you is like who you hire is so important and investing in your employees. I think the one with one of the really cool things hearing from Amanda and Kathy is like they're both have like different journeys with with Reign. I know like one started as like a manager, one started as consumer, and then, you know, like doing the mural here. And then both having been from this community. Right. Which I think is so important. I feel like because of their perspective, it gives Reign even more like real perspective on a community and the people that you guys are serving.
Tam: That's super important, super important, I sent text out to James yesterday, right? I haven't shared it with you guys, but I think James. Thank you, James and Amanda, whoever you need to just like, keep us out of nonsense. You know, it's just it's having a pulse. It's having a pulse and understanding and you don't have having empathy, right? Yeah, so like I only have my perspective, that's it. So I'll perspective. I only have my experiences right. And that's not shared by everybody. And so I don't share my own experiences. So that's why, like I say, we, we talk, we talk, we have conversations. We get perspective. Right. And so we take like we've had two major events in the past couple months, two major ones. Right. And it's the response to that. In a careful response, because, like it or not, like we are business, therefore we have a platform. It is very point how we use that platform, you know, and so we can't be like knee jerk reaction and just spout off because of whatever, because what's trending? You know, we have to be thoughtful in how we use our platform. And so I was thinking of James and then Amanda then like that basically every day, the whole crew for like because I'm like 40, you know, I'm not young and I don't live in Dorchester. I don't you know, I don't know what's going on, like a hundred percent. And so, like. We depend on everyone to give us that perspective, right? And like we've we've had heavy conversations about things like I'm not going to bring it up, but we've had a heavy conversation about things in which it's like but the things were also open minded that we come with our views and we express it. But then we listen. Right. And so, I don't even know what the question was haha. But it's just it's a great thing. It's a great thing.
Johnny: Because like I know, like both Amanda and Kathy see you as like their boss, but more as a mentor. Right. Yeah. And when they learn a lot from you. But it seems like it's it's like a circle. Right. Because like it's a circle. Because, like, they're not only just learning from you, but like you're also learning from them.
Tam: What I can say is that when I started Reign, this was three, four or five years ago, I was like, I'm gonna come in and I hope to inspire young people. To do better and what kind of whatever his way. But it's like the opposite. So when I go into my shop, I'm inspired by the staff, like they get the energy. I recognize energy. Cause that was my energy level, like when I was 20. Right. It's like this. It's like this. You got the rest of your life ahead of you. And you're so hungry to get after it, you know, type of energy. Right. It's not only that. So that's only one part of it. But it's like doing it the right way. You know, so it's like having positive vibes can do attitude, like things are coming up. But it's just like with COVID and everything we had to do. We're talking about like changes every day and the way we do business. Right. Changes in like oh we're not going do customers coming in anymore. We're gonna shut the door. Oh, we gotta do this and do that. And honestly, I didn't hear one complaints. I hear what one "that sucks". Right. I didn't hear any of that. You know, maybe kept in among themselves, but it never got back to me. Right. And so just like. All right, we're getting after it. And we've got busy. I mean, we got really busy, like, crazy busy. Right, though, in the way staff works, it lags. So this is how we stack and you get really busy in it. Oh, shoot. We have to we have to get more people to shop. Right. But everyone's just, down for the cause. You know, and so open the shop, create these jobs, you know, show the youth of Dorchester that things can be pretty cool. Right. You work hard and have a good time doing it. And so that was that. But then now it's like now go into my shop. Wow. We got something pretty good going on here. Like, it energizes me to want to, like, do more to better yourself. That's pretty cool. Circle.
Johnny: Yeah. No. That's the thing. It's because I seem like what you guys have created is really special. Right. I think on the surface it's like calling these guys so like you guys sell Drinks. All right. Well, that's the most like basic respect. But as soon as, like, you look like a simple it's like, oh, like, what's the menu? Yeah. That's when everything starts shining through. And then that gets people in the door. You're like, oh, what were these people like? Well, like, what is the environment they're creating? And then you start seeing like the full on life experience of Reign. Wow. All right. It's not just the quality drinks guys you guys are serving. It's also a quality service and the quality people and the team behind the entire business. Yeah, and I think that's one special thing that I think a lot of businesses wants to emulate. Like to have that sense of feeling when you walk to the door or when or even now. It's as simple as ordering online pickup. Yeah, right. But somehow, some way you guys are able to transfer what you guys are doing before something that's. But you have to adapt to and you're still able to offer that same very same approach. But I think like as I was walking in the parking lot, I think a guy was had to wait a little bit longer for his drink because it's his ticket. Didn't like printed out. That's what I overheard. Yeah. But it didn't make him upset. Yeah. Right. Like, he's actually like very happy. He's like, oh no, it's fine. Like I put in the note and like so the staff said that I'm so sorry. He's like, no, it's fine. I'll be back tomorrow. Yeah. You know, like like. And I think just shows like how much loyalty that you guys have created inthe community and the people that comes by because something like that to him was like, you know what, like I'm here for these guys. Like I want to continue supporting support them. Like, this is like a human experience. Yeah. Right. And then that's like. Really cool.
Tam: So that's great. It's great to hear. So we often times, mistakes will happen. And it's funny, like Michaels is a big part of Reign. He has operations and. You know, we all have to navigate when there are problems arise. But it's funny that whenever something negative happens, it ends up being positive. So we'll make a mistake. But then like we go above and beyond. So to rectify it. To take care of it. So then now when we come out ahead. Right. It's like they they like us more. I don't know. Right. It's like holy. You know, it's I go in and I think it's it's it's genuine. Right. It's not. This is not a this is not a "I'm afraid to lose your business and I want your money" type of reaction. It's we care about you being happy. Right. And we know that we like didn't meet your expectations and we really appreciate you. So, you know, we're gonna take care of this. We going to take care of you. So that's where it comes from. And so and it's like, I can't stress enough. It starts with your mentality, perspective, regular mentality of. Is a customer, a person or is customer, a dollar sign? You know, and so. And from day one that's been our thing, which is like we're a small shop. When you come inside, you're already like in our space. Like literally in our space. Right. And so, like, we take you in like like we're friends or family, whatever it is, like we're neighbors or whatever, so that we can write names on the cups. Most of time. Right. It's about it. It's spelled correctly, you know. And so that's about like you knew this. You are a person, right? We see you and we appreciate you. Right. So, yeah, you know, we I think, like, you know, the way you treat people in general, that's how they're going to be treated like a neighbor. Right. Then they're going to feel like a neighbor to to act like a neighbor. Right. But if if they're just a transaction, then they're going to treat you like a transaction too, you know. And then there's not going to be forgiveness. There's not going to be any of that. Right. There's not going to be that that that empathy there, you know, because, you know, it's you're not a you're not a person to them anymore. You're just a business, you know. And so. So I think if we have any goodwill from our customers, it's because, like, it's how we treat them.
Johnny: Like the one thing that's like I keep hearing from all you guys is like how small the spaces. Yeah. Right. But I think happening with that with that small space, it also creates like a level of intimacy with the customer. Right. And I think, like, one thing I hear you guys say a lot was like you're like welcome to like your family. And it's almost as if, like, Reign is like your guys like kitchen. Right. Which is heart of the house, the heart of anybody's home. Yeah. Right. By welcoming customers. And it's like, hey, come on in. You know, hang out for a bit. Yeah. Join the join the family. Yeah. It's. And when you leave that you are a part of it.
Tam: It's a beautiful thing because we have customers like from every walk of life, you know. And the other day I saw something cool so I took a photo. It was like these two older Vietnamese women in masks like we're talking about, like the grandmas. Right. That they go like, you know, you know, like, you know. And I'm like, what do they come Reign? That's awesome, you know? And then but then we'll have like everybody else, you know. And so I love that we're able to create that. Right. Because with everything going on right now, like the stuff that's going on right now know, I think that. You know, everything starts with communication and dialog and just compassion and understanding and all that. And so through our shop, we're able to create a place where people from all sorts of different backgrounds come in and just let their guard down. And just like, you know, just just be cool right then that can foster can foster, like, just. A lot of times we'll have police officers as customers, right? And in a lot of times, at the same time, we'll have our other customers for the neighborhood. Sometimes people of color. Right. And so outside of our shop, when those two people meet. It could be something tense. It could be tense. Right. And I've heard it way back in the past was with people that we know. It's like I don't know why, but whenever whenever I'm next to a police officer, I just tense up a little bit. Right. And so but when when you're in this kind of like, neutral environment, like I shop, right. Then everyone can kind of like, you know, a cop out there trying to be like put on its face, stone face, whatever it is. Come inside our shop, it's cracking jokes and stuff like cracking jokes and stuff, you know? And so it's like if we can just see that we're all human, that we're all we're just all just trying to get by. Right. And then we work from that place, then maybe something can happen, you know? And so I just liked that we potentially are creating a space like that.
Johnny: And it's very evident that you guys have created a very special place, not just for yourselves, but for the community. Yes. Is there anything else you want to add?
Tam: Just in general. We did our timer go off. I think we had. So, like talking about Vietnamese, right? So just go back. Everything that I'll say I've experienced with our culture. All right. So I just like the way my father raised me. Right. Just like he never said that these people are perfect. When I was 18 or 19, my father told me, like, just take the best of the Vietnamese culture, take the best American culture. And then, like, make it yours. And so I think Reign is like me doing that. You know, and so there is there's a lot of great things about the Vietnamese culture, right. Work ethic, pride, sense of family, stuff like that. It's just like amazing that we had a hold on to. But there's areas where we can grow, right? Where we can grow. It's a lot. There's a lot of room for growth. And so Reign drink lab, what we do through that is kind of like it's not a Vietnamese place , Right? But I can't help but make my culture through our culture, through everything, you know. And so it's like our ability to, like, indulge. Let me show something about how we can grow. This is how we can do it. This is how we can assimilate in the community. Right. And be a part still. Be Vietnamese. Be a part of the community. Participate. Right. This is how we can show our positivity and put positive vibes out there. Right. This is how we can we react to negative situations. Right. This is how we can have a positive work environment. Right. And like promote growth through our youth. Right. This is how we can entrust responsibility to younger people. It's helped empower. Right. Through Reign to 400 square feet. Right. We can do all that. Yeah. You know, and so who knows how many people that will touch and how that will spread and how that will influence. Right. I don't know. I don't care. Right. Like we take care of ourselves. Right. But maybe we do you help outside of our shops, you stuff.
Johnny: And like so many other things that you said, like Amanda and Kathy said too. You know, I think some of them were like the most like the biggest thing that I heard was a sort of like, you know, for Amanda and Kathy, like, they are like the next generation. Right. They're young, they're from this community that they're like Vietnamese American. And they talk with the very same things about like how growing up, you know, like when you're younger, you know, like Vietnamese, food or culture may not be the most appealing thing because you just want to blend in. You know, everybody else. Yeah. But over time, they've been able to really help raise it and learn how to love their culture in that very same idea. Yeah. Well, I want I'm taking on certain aspects of Vietnamese culture and truly what we truly value and blending it into their own experience and our own experience. Yeah. Living in America. Yeah. Like this is like a byproduct. Yeah. And it seems like it's from,. Seem like the whole team that really truly believes that they're really trying to push that forward. Which I think is really special, and I think something that's been said a lot during these conversations, like real recognize real.
Tam: And I haven't said it once yet haha.
Johnny: But I think I think people do recognize. I think that's a very like one hundred percent.
Tam: The number one rule of real recognize real is you don't say real recognize real. You just recognize you just...
Amanda: Yeah but we gonna say it right now. Yeah.
Tam: Yeah but we have to explain it so People get it . And that's part of being real. Is being humble. Exactly right. Like if you're doing it to be recognized, like talking about promoting yourself, then that's not being real. You know, you just do it right. And so. And so. Yeah. Like you recognize. Yeah. Right. Yeah. It's cool.
Johnny: And I think it's only when those things like when something is like genuine. Really authentic. Yeah. People will feel that, you know, like you can't. And those are the things that you really can't buy. Yeah. You really can't teach in that sense. Like I think education real about what I mean by those. Like those are the things that you can't just go into store. Yeah. No matter how much money you have, you can't buy genuineness and authenticity.
Tam: That's got. That's very real right now. That's very, very that's very relevant right now. That's very relevant right now. Because there's some because businesses are putting things out there. Right. Putting these out there that they have a certain position. And and the consumers are very intelligent and the consumers are very, very intelligent. They see it. They see they see through empty words. Right. And so people are not stupid, you know. And I think all businesses should be held to that higher standard of like, if you're going to see something better, back it up. Yeah. Right. And so I always say less. Let me let your actions talk. Yeah, I think it is a parallel. I mean, think of something, you know. I've not done that. What are we talking about? It's not like the genuine and being authentic. OK, yeah, yeah, I think we covered that. Yeah. All right. So one day I didn't talk about it, but opportunity. And so I know that, like, through my own life, I've had amazing opportunities. Those opportunity given to me think they were given to me through the high work, my parents or whatever, some of it a little bit of that I earned. But a lot was given. And so, like, I was given an opportunity for the opportunity, just like a job. Right. It's like you're given this. You gave it a chance. Right. And so Reign is it's really just that it's it's giving you an opportunity to see the point somehow. And that's it. That's all it's given. Right. Every one of our staff members, every one of our team, they have earned everything , you know. And so nothing like. I'm super it's super pointed. Right. Is that like everyone feels like accomplished because they already know. And so I always say, like, oh, I'll give most people a chance. Everyone's going to get a chance. An opportunity. I can give you that. Right. But everything else you're going to earn on your own, you know, and so on. So like through Rein drink lab in the drops and we create. It's a chance, it's an opportunity, no chance, it's an opportunity for someone that maybe hasn't has ever worked anywhere before or maybe whatever. Right. To come in and make their own. You know, it's because it's kind of like that paying forward thing that where a parent pass you get this opportunity and, you know, they they make themselves and they create for me and then give me an opportunity that I create a this office, I'll pass it on and so on. And like Kathy, I mean, like they're here for a reason. They're here talking to you today for a reason. Right. Because they kind of like they're the shining example of like super talented, hardworking, like just great at it. Like all these. All the tools. Right. But then when you apply it to something. Right. Where you go with that. Yeah. Right. So I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what it's like to grow up in Dorchester and or just not know what. Always like to grow up the school system. Something that I have no idea. I don't make any assumptions. Right. But I'm like I'm a visionary dreamer or whatever you want to call it. Ambitious. You know, I'm saying it's so. Like I talked to the staff one to one. From time to time, need to figure out what kind of what they're doing, what they're thinking and stuff, and it's just like I'm here to keep pushing them to, like they figure, you know, go bigger, right. Like, go higher, you know, or just keep going. Oh, I get that, you know, or just keep going. You know, and so I think that's like probably in terms of fulfillment, personal fulfillment. That's that's what's priceless for. Right. It's not. I take it. I care about the numbers a lot because a profitable business is sustainable. This is not making money , it's not going to last. Any lenght of time. Right. If the business doesn't last, then. You can't provide the employees. So having a good business model is so that the business can sustain itself over time and continue to provide opportunities for your employees. Right. So I'm always I'm taking the numbers. But where it gets that's a fulfillment is not profitability. I get it. Seeing the success of my staff, of our staff. You know, it's so good. Amanda and Kathy are shining examples like of that. Good job.
Amanda: Thank you. Word of affirmations from like, your parents.
Tam: I think that that puts a bow on it. Yeah. We we make mistakes all the time. I make mistakes all the time. We meet on it, we talk about it. We adjust, we make adjustments, take ownership most of time. Right. Just like. It's sometimes just like it is what it is, whatever, but like. Because we're so small, we're so nimble, right? We don't have like it because we're so young. We don't have the pressures of being established. Right. With Pho Hoa, I Feel the pressures of being established. I feel a responsibility to the customers who've been with us for 20 years. Right. Like, I feel that responsibility. With Reign, we kind of do whatever we want. Right. We do what we want because we know our heart's in the right place. You know, we we we know we know our core values, you know, we're about and we make sure we're always giving those marks and we don't have this other kind of baggage to deal with. You know, so maybe it makes us like it able to move quickly. Yeah. So. All right. That's as much as I can brag about, Reign. That's that's all I could say about Reign.