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The Rice Paddy in Marquette transfers ownership, Aoy’s future plans

“The Rice Paddy is just…everything. Everything to me,” Aoy says.
Published: May. 6, 2021 at 1:01 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Rice Paddy opened in Marquette over 30 years ago, with owner Aoy building it “from the ground up”. The Thai restaurant has since become quite famous in the community for its food and spirited owner.

Now, Aoy is handing the restaurant over to Nang, whom she has trained for about a year.

“She’s a really, really good learner,” says Aoy. “She do everything; what I tell her. That’s why I trusted her, that’s why I passed the torch down to her.”

Aoy promises to visit the restaurant often during retirement, to make sure everything stays on track.

“I’m still gonna come around the Rice Paddy to make sure everything’s the way I do it for the past 30 years. [Nang] is not going to change anything. She cannot. Otherwise she will have me to answer to.”

Aoy says her future plans include starting a cooking class and performing some personal chef duties in the area. All this with the help of her husband, Greg Trick, of course.

“The strength that I get is my husband. I go home, I’m really tired, sometimes I’m really frustrated, he’s given me the encouraging word. He’s such a good, good husband. I think I’ll keep him.”

But Aoy says the restaurant has been made possible by her many loyal customers.

“I like to thank all the people that believe in me and support me all the past 30 years. I could not have done without them.”

Though her work week sometimes included over 80-90 hours, Aoy says the best part has been the friends she has made along the way.

“Sometimes I lean on their shoulders, sometimes they lean on mine shoulders, you know? The Rice Paddy is just…everything. Everything to me,” Aoy says.

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