After marrying his Thai wife and years of preparing her family’s cultural foods Jeffrey Story settled his family in Williamston, Michigan, and opened the restaurant, Thai Nation Bistro.
Thai Nation, a small bistro with history even better than its food, is located in a small town right outside the capital of Michigan.
In 2016, Story and his wife, Jin, brought the original taste of Thailand to the residents of Williamston.
“Immediately when you walk in, you can tell the legitimacy of this cultural restaurant,” customer, Amanda Bur
gess, said, “Not only do the decorations resemble that, but things like their website or the menu as well.”
Posted within the restaurant’s website are photos of the owner and his wife with family friends, dressed in authentic Thai clothing, along with various Thai translations of popular words.
While both parents of Jin are chefs and Story grew up in the Flint, MI restaurant business, according to Story opening a restaurant was the last career move he wanted to make.
According to Story, after moving to Williamston, and the birth of their daughter, the couple grew tired of traveling, so they began to seriously consider restaurant ideas.
After a family friend pointed out the vacant business space, the Story family made their move and spent time creating an authentic environment for their customers; from the decorations in the walkway, to the name of the restaurant, everything was planned out.
“That [name] Thai Nation comes from when we cook at home, everything that’s on that menu is what we serve at home,” Story said. “That’s what our kids eat, that’s what we eat.”
According to Story, when Story and his wife came back from Thailand, they began cooking Thai food for their family and friends, who then suggested they open a restaurant, due to the authenticity of the food.
“There’s two main rules to Thai, and we try to adhere to them. The first one is fresh, Thai food needs to be fresh,” said Story.
“The second rule, is you should get all five flavors in every dish. We try to stay away from [processed foods] as much as we can.”
According to Story, keeping the true flavor of Thai within their food is a main priority for him, causing Thai Nation to continually stand out from other restaurants within the area.
“It’s a pretty small restaurant, not a big place,” customer Josh Austin said, “Its really relaxed in that whole area, they have music playing, kind of like a coffee shop environment.”
With a serene and laid-back environment, Thai Nation gives every customer a unique hint of the true Thai culture.