With their life savings amounting to little more than a day's worth of groceries, Loi Tran and his family immigrated to the United States in 1977 to escape the hardships created by the Vietnam War. Through church aid, the family took refuge with some caring Vietnamese families who offered help. However, without the benefit of speaking English, Loi was unable to find any work and was relegated to the harsh farmlands of California with various labor jobs; picking fruits and vegetables with long hours and little pay. His wife took on multiple jobs doing the only thing she knew - cooking. But despite working multiple jobs each, the family rarely made ends meet.
In 1992, opportunity arose when Loi and his wife were given an old, broken and used hot dog cart by a family friend. Without any knowledge or formal training on how to operate a hot dog cart, Loi remained determined to build something for his family. He patched up the missing wheel on the cart using his daughter's tricycle and decided to take a leap of faith. The same wheel can be seen on his hot dog cart even to this day. The two developed all of their own recipes and sauces which they made daily and sourced all of their ingredients locally. Apparently no one ever told them how a hot dog is supposed to be eaten or what items should or should not be put on their hot dogs. So they just made hot dogs that tasted good to them by combining their knowledge of sushi and hot dogs. Loi and his wife named their cart after the only Japanese word they knew ... "yummy." The rest, as they say, is history.
Combining different flavors and ingredients from their knowledge of sushi dishes, they created the first Japanese fusion hot dogs. Loi and his wife woke up at 5 am every morning to prepare all of their sauces, purchased all of their ingredients fresh from the local farms, and operated their hot dog cart every day, rain or shine. They understood the importance of food quality and taste and were insistent on making things right for their customers. Armed with unique flavors and their strong work ethics, Umai Savory Hot Dogs distinguished their business model from the dozens of hot dog cart vendors that lined the downtown streets of San Jose, California. By 2001, Loi and his wife operated a total of 4 carts with their kids in tow; often doing homework on the sidewalks while their parents operated. Their hard work and dedication to their food and customers paid off and their legion of fans proved it.
THE UMAI DIFFERENCE
Today, their youngest son never forgot the hard work and dedication his parents put into what is now the Umai Savory Hot Dogs® brand. That same passion and dedication to food quality and customer service continues to this day.
All of Umai hot dogs and sausages are made with fresh cuts of premium meats, all natural casings, all fresh ingredients, are gluten free, naturally smoked, contains no MSG, no byproducts, no fillers, and no artificial flavors or colors. Our buns are baked daily and our fresh ingredients are sourced from local farms and dairies. Our orders are made to order with a fully customized menu with a wide variety of buns, hot dogs, toppings, and specialty sauces. Our unique side dishes, appetizers, desserts, specialty iced teas and craft beers round out the palate and offer customers a taste they will never forget. But don't just take it from us, come taste and find out what makes Umai Savory Hot Dogs® so irresistible!