Parked at the corner of Calhoun and St. Philip streets in the heart of the College of Charleston campus, Pink Bellies has been serving up “Vietnamese deliciousness” to the campus community for the last three years.
But the food truck’s creator and owner, CofC alumnus Thai Phi ‘12, is transitioning his business to a brick-and-mortar store in Charleston — so time is running out to get banh mi sandwiches or crispy noodle bowls between classes.
Pink Bellies will open a permanent home inside the newly established Workshop food market in Charleston’s North Morrison neighborhood, also known as NoMo.
“To be in a setting with all of the latest equipment, we can really focus on what we do, which is the food,” says Phi. “I’m super excited to work harder and make it better, faster and more efficient than we ever have.”
Phi will be serving up the favorites from his food truck’s usual spot on campus from Wednesday, March 22, to Friday, March 24, and again from March 29 to March 31. But after that, students, faculty and staff hoping to get their Pink Bellies fix will have to wait until the Workshop location opens later this spring.
Pink Bellies has been a hot spot that students and faculty have been enjoying for years. Phi says the College community has played an important role in the food truck’s growth since its opening in 2014.
Phi, the son of Vietnamese refugees, was born in Thailand and is passionate about bringing his heritage to Charleston through Pink Bellies.
After graduating from the College’s one-year MBA program, Phi knew the corporate world wasn’t for him.
“At the time, culinarily speaking, the publicity the city was getting was on a roll so I knew I needed to hop on it” he says.
He adds, “It’s going to be awesome to be around people that are really experienced in this industry. There is so much for me to learn, which I am so happy about.”
Images by Reese Moore. Video by JW Beatovich.
Maret Williamson is a junior from Greenville, South Carolina, studying communication and marketing at the College of Charleston. She is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.