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Seafood Stalwart

((Banner: Sea
((Reporter/Camera: Hu Nguyen))
((Adapted by: Martin Secrest))
((Map: Chalmette, Louisiana))

Theresa Nguyen: The tide good for the next week? The
tide change for the next week? The tide for the next week.))
((Theresa Nguyen, Owner, Theresa Seafood))
There is a Vietnamese saying, ‘Ignorance is bliss.’ I had
nothing to lose, just to move forward. No money. No
government assistance. I had to stand on my own two feet.
Theresa: OK, one dollar a pound (.45 kilo).
Customer: One dollar a pound? OK, see you next time,
Theresa: See you. Bye.))
((Theresa Nguyen, Owner, Theresa Seafood))
I buy shrimp from fishermen, start the process and then sell
it to the big processing companies. It is always super busy
on weekends but fewer boats come on the weekdays.
((Popup Banner:
In 1979, Nguyen fled Vietnam with her family by boat
Her boat was attacked by pirates))
((Theresa Nguyen, Owner, Theresa Seafood))
Our boat was turned around. People on the boat wanted to
give up their lives. At that moment, I just prayed for my
children. It didn’t matter if I died.
Theresa: Wait, wait, wait, wait. One right here, move out.
Wait, wait, wait. He messed it up with that one.
((Theresa Nguyen, Owner, Theresa Seafood))
When I decided to do business here, everyone told me not to
because locals were very racist and conservative. There was
no way these people would do business with me. And in
fact, it was very difficult. For two years, local fishermen did
not want to do business with me. They would come if they
had only a few kilos of seafood. If they had more, they went
elsewhere. Then there was a sunken boat that blocked the
waterway, preventing boats from getting to me. I cried every
night looking at my growing debt. I was exhausted.
Fortunately, there was a white American who I thought was
sent by God to help me.
((Popup Banner: The American used his boat to drag the
sunken vessel out of the way.))
((Theresa Nguyen, Owner, Theresa Seafood))
He helped me spread the news and brought his friends to do
business with me. Thanks to that, I was able to bounce
Theresa: Yeah, if you don’t mind, because right now I don’t
know. I messed it up and I don’t know what to put in over
((Theresa Nguyen, Owner, Theresa Seafood))
I’m 71 now. I’m going to retire soon. However, as long as
God lets me continue, I’ll keep working to take care of my
children. I won’t stop until God says so.