Photography by Joe Laedtke
Milwaukee, meet Pai Yang and Tou Vang, the husband-wife team behind Milwaukee Asian Market Phongsavan. If you don’t know them yet, you will; Phongsavan has been a staple in Milwaukee’s Hmong community for five years now, but the word is spreading, and the business… well, that’s spreading, too.
Expansion plans Pai and Tou have been honing for three years are slowly coming to fruition, and there’s reason to be excited. The current building, a repurposed transmission shop filled with vendor stalls, groceries, produce and cafes will pale in comparison with the massive space planned for next door. Tou speaks in his soft, melodic voice with great enthusiasm as he describes it, “We’ll add 400 new jobs…we’ve already leased out all of the space.” Indeed, a drafting of the floor plan shows each vendor stall, with names already filled in.
Construction is progressing, albeit slowly. Tou pointed out the foundation for the pre-cast concrete building panels is being laid, and the panels themselves will begin arriving soon. In the meantime, the existing building is still playing host to delicious Hmong meals, nearly every Asian grocery item you can imagine, and scads of locally (and we mean locally) … Read More