Vietnamese businessman Pham Dinh Nguyen, who calls himself the mayor of a US town he bought last year, Tuesday began to welcome the very first visitors to the area under a new name: a Vietnamese coffee town.
In April 2012, Nguyen bid US$900,000 at an auction to win Buford, Wyoming, deemed the nation’s smallest town, and released in late July his plan to rename it PhinDeli and sell Vietnamese coffee there.
“It is impossible to describe what I feel at the moment,” the 39-year-old businessman said at the inauguration ceremony of PhinDeli town on Tuesday.
In a July interview, Nguyen explained that PhinDeli is “the combination of phin, the Vietnamese name for the small, metal French drip filter used for brewing coffee, and deli, an abbreviation for delicious.”
The town sits at 8,000 feet above sea level off Interstate 80, the main cross-country route between New York and San Francisco, and has facilities that include a trading post, a convenience store, and a filling station.
The convenience store has been converted into a café that sells Vietnamese-made coffee.
“I’m so proud that there is a Vietnamese coffee town right in the US, and especially, it is owned by a Vietnamese,” he shared.
Besides selling coffee served Vietnamese-style, the town is also introducing other world-famous Vietnamese products to visitors. These include the Minh Long ceramics, Thuan Phat fish sauce, Vinamilk condensed milk, and even the “Chopin: Complete Mazurkas” CDs, performed by pianist Dang Thai Son.
“This will help promote more Vietnamese brands to US consumers,” Nguyen said.