Fai Thai food truck specializes in pad thai. They also have several curry dishes. Offering homestyle Thai food, Fai Thai is the first truck of its kind to serve the Knoxville area.
Owned by Kultida Blais, Fai Thai came from rough beginnings.
Following in the footsteps of her parents, who were both chefs, Kultida decided she wanted to open a food truck. So working as a restaurant server, she saved $16,000 to buy and equip a truck. She hired a consultant who helped her develop a business plan, and then he introduced her to a man she hired to build the truck.
Unfortunately, the man used only $9,000 to build her truck and ran off with the remaining $7,000. Though incredibly disappointed, Kultida didn’t stop pursuing her dream. She endeavored to work harder to finish the project, setting out to finish building the truck, adding a wok, a large prep area, fire suppression, and a generator.
Once it was up and running, the business experienced a slow start. But after she became more well known, people began flocking to the truck. Since then, Kultida says Knoxville has been very supportive of Fai Thai.
Growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, Kultida worked for two years in public relations but then decided to leave. Ruled by a hierarchy with a king, Kultida left Thailand for “a place with more freedom,” arriving in New York in 2014, where she studied English as a second language (ESL) for six months before transferring to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2015.
Kultida has now opened a restaurant version of her food truck (but with an expanded menu) on Gay Street.