How a Cambodian Refugee Started a Bushwick Coffee Empire and Communal Hub

Linda Thach went from one coffee shop to running multiple thriving businesses.

Underneath the rumbling of the JMZ train sits Little Skips. The coffee shop, turned neighborhood hangout and events space, opened in February 2010. Owner Linda Thach had moved to Bushwick two years before and hoped to be an actress. She waited tables at a sushi restaurant, attended the New School for Film, and worked towards her dream, which did not involve coffee.

Then something changed. Her mom passed away and left her some money. Thach “didn’t want to do something unless it would make her proud.” Thach and her family escaped the end of Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia by walking from “Cambodia to Thailand to find asylum in the refugee camp. Our family lived in refugee camps in Thailand and then the Philippines for a couple years before immigrating to the US after finding a sponsor (this was a very traumatic time as we were always hungry since there was little food for all the refugees and barely enough shelter for everyone so most slept on dirt ground).”

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