Q&A: Thai street café Whoosh on the role of food packaging in business

Whoosh is a street food outlet based in Northern Ireland specialising in Thai and Vietnamese food.

Inn Supplies spoke to founder Thana Thammavongsa, who brought her skills and family recipes to set up the business.

Whoosh Coleraine

We gained an insight into its humble beginnings, its start-up challenges, and the vital role food packaging plays in its day-to-day operations.

  1. Can you tell us how Whoosh first began?

Whoosh started in 2008, doing event catering (corporate and private events) across Northern Ireland. It wasn’t until 2013 that we opened our Thai and Vietnamese street food café.

  1. As a new business, did you face any challenges?

We started the business on a shoestring budget. The event catering route was a way to test our food and promote our type of food. Every big contract we managed to get, paid for the next set of equipment needed for the following jobs. Thai and Vietnamese food at the time wasn’t very well known in Northern Ireland. We stuck to our family recipes and gradually won over many customers.

  1. What type of food does Whoosh specialise in?

Southeast Asian food, primarily Thai, Lao and Vietnamese Street Food. The food is cooked on site every day. Our cooking is all about using fresh ingredients and as local as possible, creating healthy fast casual food ideal for sit-in or takeaway.  

Food Boxes Custom Whoosh
  1. Any customer favourites?

Our Thai curries, Thai Beef Noodles, Vietnamese Caramel Pork Noodles and Thai Chicken Satay are the top favourites.

  1. Did you see a demand of Thai and Vietnamese food in your area?

Thai and Vietnamese restaurants were none-existent in our area when we opened in 2013, we were the first one in the Causeway Coast & Glens area and to this day are the only eatery specialising in Thai and Vietnamese food.

  1. You make great use of recyclable food boxes and noodle boxes. What role does the food packaging play in your business?

The packaging plays a crucial part in our business. High quality recyclable food boxes make a difference. When we first started, we wanted to avoid plastic takeaway boxes and were looking for boxes that not only look good but boxes that also hold our food warm long enough for our customers to enjoy their meals. Inn Supplies have been our primary supplier since we opened our Street Food Café, 10 years ago.

Noodle Food Boxes Custom Whoosh
  1. What are your plans for the future?

We are about to launch a new range of products for retail. The packaging we selected for this retail line is 100% biodegradable.

Our café is also doing well and in its 10th year. We have plans to expand in the near future.

More about Whoosh

Where is it?

3 Bell House Lane
The Diamond
BT52 1ED
(Between Next and the First Trust Bank)

Find out more:

Visit the website or follow Whoosh on Twitter @WhooshColeraine, on Instagram @whoosh_streetfood and Facebook @whooshstreetfood.