BLAINE, Minn. — Whether it's the Minnesota State Fair or a local farmers' market, there's a non-zero chance at any given festival that the Eggroll Queen food truck is parked, serving up eggrolls and fried rice.
It's one of several iconic Twin Cities food trucks, having grown from an eggroll-selling operation out in front of Mai Vang's home, to now, a lucrative business with five food trucks in operation.
The thing about being Vang's kind of royalty, is that the job is tough.
"I tell you guys, running a food truck is not easy," Vang said with a smile on her face, shaking her head. "Everything happens — every couple of weeks something happens."
Last week, with her usual family helpers all gone back to school, Vang said she wore many hats.
"I had to be really short," Vang said about staffing. "I've got to go do everything from cooking, clean the truck, prepping, do dishes — the whole 9 yards."
Being so busy with the trucks, Vang said she didn't have time to deposit their earnings, clarifying that they usually don't have a lot of cash in the trucks, but last week was different due to the business' short staffing.
On Wednesday, her sister-in-law, who was helping out with one of them, called Vang with horrible news.
"She called me, she said, 'Sister-in-law, all your money is gone,'" Vang described. "I was like, 'What do you mean?' She's like, 'They stole.'"
"I thought I only gave her an x-amount, but she said 'everything you gave me,'" Vang continued. "And that was over 20 grand."
Totaling to about two weeks of earnings from 20 people combined.
"That's a lot of working time," Vang said, but quickly she shook her head and continued. "I don't know. So, I'm like, not crying anymore, because I have a lot of support that came."
The other thing about being Mai Vang's kind of royalty, is that it involves a lot of optimism.
"When I first started this business, it was because of the community that loved my eggrolls," she said. "And they wanted to support me because I went deaf eight years ago. So I felt like, the last eight years of my life have been — it has been up and down. Because of the love from the community, support from the community, it just helps me keep moving forward."
And that community showed up again, ordering extra, and even making donations or tipping big.
"We actually have people who drive an hour and a half just to come and help us," Vang said.
And a true queen, never forgets her roots.
"When big things happen, the community always come together for us, and so that is also saying that we always have to pay it forward," she said. "We try to do a lot of fundraising to help the community."
Vang said there is no GoFundMe, however, you can check out Eggroll Queen's food truck schedule here.
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