During a gap semester at home in Vietnam because of COVID-19, Davis Nguyen, ’22, saw an opportunity to grow his business.

“Everything changed drastically when lockdown laws and prevention methods applied,” he said.

He runs Teemay Coffee, which has two cafés in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Before the pandemic, his revenues totaled about $26,000. When it hit, hotels in the area began quarantining travelers for weeks, and the need arose for catered food and coffee for their guests.

“My first client came to me out of nowhere,” Nguyen said. “I knew that the capacity of my business could supply the client’s request, so I jumped at the chance. After that, I realized this could be a new market for me, so I utilized the opportunity.”

Nguyen now has three clients, including the Holiday Inn, for which he provides catered food and coffee. His revenue has more than tripled.

“I never thought I could do catering service myself, but I can,” Nguyen said.

“This is a good example of how companies have to pivot during the pandemic to meet the needs of a growing business,” said Joel Mier, lecturer in marketing. “His café does very well, but the pandemic created an opportunity for him to provide food for incoming travelers.”

He hopes to gain more clients in the coming months and continue growing his business.

“I hope to use this service to support the main vision of my business: to provide knowledge about specialty coffee,” Nguyen said.