May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States, and Asian Heritage Month in Canada. It is a time traditionally dedicated for remembrance and celebration of the many historical and cultural contributions of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community. 

We proudly support and celebrate API culture every day. Throughout the month of May and beyond we will use our platform to shine a light on API culture by showcasing a wide variety Asian cuisines and trailblazing chefs in local neighborhoods. Experience a breadth of delicious cuisines and traditional dishes hailing from East, Southeast and South Asia & the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia by visiting the app and ordering from the list of restaurants featured.

This month, we’re spotlighting local API merchants who have participated in the Main Street Strong Accelerator  which provides financial support and specialized educational resources to small businesses with a particular focus on women, immigrant and BIPOC-owned restaurants.

Kwan Disbanchong | Ruam Mitr | Los Angeles, CA

For the past 40 years, my family has operated a small business in Thailand. Growing up, I would visit the kitchen every day to see people experience our family recipes. Ruammit means a place of gathering for friends and family to happily have a meal together in the same place. AAPI Heritage Month means celebrating our many cultures and flavors, particularly with food because each cuisine has its own uniqueness, expressing different ethnicities.

Joy Phoubaykham | Neighborhood Kitchen | Medford , MA – Boston Accelerator Participant

I am a first generation immigrant whose family came from Laos. When I was 13, I began working in restaurants and always dreamt of owning one and becoming an entrepreneur. Neighborhood Kitchen serves a fusion of Asian and Caribbean cuisines and aims to provide its community with a safe space where many cultures can enjoy variety and flavor. I’m really excited for AAPI Heritage Month to know that we are celebrated. Growing up in a small town, we would make Laotian New year a pretty big event within the community. Our school, neighbors, and friends would all come together and celebrate us and it was always a great feeling. I loved sharing our food, dance, and culture. It was something to be proud of.

James Lam | Spicy Shallot | Queens, NY – Main Street Strong Accelerator Participant

We are a family owned neighborhood restaurant in the heart of Elmhurst (aka ‘Thai Town’) serving authentic Thai food and Japanese sushi. Our restaurant strives to make people feel like they are at home eating with loved ones. My wife was born in Thailand and came to the United States over 30 years ago. We are extremely proud of our heritage. It brings us great joy to run a business that allows us to be surrounded by other Thai people and share our authentic cuisine with the community. As a proud Asian American who immigrated here, AAPI Heritage Month is special to me because it celebrates culture and heritage as well as highlights the hard working Asians who came to America with nothing to make a living for themselves and their family.