When the Nguyen brothers opened their first 7 Leaves coffee shop in 2012, they didn’t dare tell their mother and father. The siblings feared that they would be devastated.
After all, their parents were Vietnamese migrants who fled their war-ravaged homeland in the 1990s and eventually settled in Orange County’s Little Saigon. They’d dreamed that their four boys would grow up to be successful…
And it’s rarely let up, though this is the soft opening for 7 Leaves Cafe, and the grand opening won’t be held until Saturday. Even with the temperature dipping down into the low 40s on Monday night, the line to order iced drinks was still 30-deep..
Seven years ago, Nguyen and his six co-owners (pictured below) opened their first shop in a tiny corner plaza in Little Saigon. Today with 20 locations and counting, patrons dutifully line up for their Vietnamese coffee, milk teas, and other handcrafted drinks.
What does the 7 in ‘7 Leaves’ stand for?
NBC continues to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by highlighting what some call an “Asian Starbucks” with its roots in Southern California’s Little Saigon.
The Nguyens have been called the “North Star of Little Saigon” because they are constantly lighting the way for the others.
The “naturally delicious” 7 Leaves Cafe is rapidly growing in Southern California and is making an early jump into the bustling Las Vegas coffee shop marketplace, launching in Chinatown this summer.
Dubbed the “Asian Starbucks,” and expanding to 16 West Coast cafes by the end of the year, 7 Leaves will take over the shuttered Fat Dumpling at The Center at Spring Mountain, a short distance west of Lee’s Sandwiches.