owner & chef
With over fifty years of cooking experience, Boonkheng oversees the produce department, kitchen, and deli. As a child, Boonkheng possessed great passion for cooking and experimentation with food. She learned how to cook Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian, and Chinese cuisines. When she married Keosavanh, they opened a restaurant where they served specialized dishes such as phở, pad see yew, lad na, banh mi sandwiches -- many of the dishes she currently cooks for her customers at InterAsian Market. What customers are eating from her kitchen are the same dishes she served to her customers in Laos. She's uncompromising and passionate about her food quality, using only the freshest ingredients in her dishes. Taking days to make, her banh mi sandwich ingredients (french pâté, pickle vegetables, and pork) and crispy roasted pork belly are made from scratch. Her philosophy remains, "if it's not good enough for us to eat , then we won't sell it."
Known to his friends and customers as "Joy," Keosavanah Xayarath co-founded InterAsian Market & Deli in 1994 with his wife Boonkheng. Keosavanah was born in Laos. He has known his wife Boonkheng, who is Vietnamese, since she was eight years old. They married in 1970, and had four children by 1976, the year they escaped to a refugee camp in Thailand, where their fifth child was born. When the Xayaraths first arrived at the camp, it held 2,500 people; when they left in 1979 to come to America, its population had grown to 50,000. Sponsors at Nashville's Belmont Church had an apartment and a job at Jim Williams Enterprises waiting for the Xayaraths. The family remains grateful for their help. The Xayaraths saved their money, and in 1980 bought a house in Antioch. All five of their children attended Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School, and all five have also graduated from college. On October 1, 1994, Keosavanah and Boonkheng opened InterAsian Market & Deli. Various family members continue to work alongside them today. Keosavanah and Boonkheng proudly became American citizens on January 13, 1987.
Somboon Wu is the third of the Xayarath's five children. Somboon brings over 20 years of retail and customer service experience and handles day-to-day operations at InterAsian Market. He graduated from Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a bachelor's degree in architecture. Upon graduation, he decided he would prefer running the family business as opposed to working as an architecture apprentice for several years.
Bailey Ford is Mr. & Mrs. Xayarath's grandson. He is responsible for InterAsian Market's overall internet presence including website development and social media management. Bailey also designs and manages InterAsian Market's in-store signage. Bailey works at InterAsian Market part-time while he attends college in Murfreesboro at MTSU. He uses his experience at InterAsian Market as real-life business experience for his future career development. Bailey created and manages InterAsian Market's website and social media accounts. He enjoys assisting the company and its customers in the digital world.