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For weeks, there hasn’t been a wall sign on the facade at 21 King St. N. in Waterloo, so look for the sidewalk sign that declares “Champa Kitchen Now Open.”
When you get inside, peruse the 80-item menu and ask owner Outhoumphonh Vongkhamchanh — “I go by Linda,” she said — about her Lao cooking: she’s excited to describe it and how much it means to her to be running her own restaurant.
Vongkhamchanh has worked in hospitality for 15 years. She attended Conestoga College for business, has worked in a Cambridge restaurant and opened Champa Kitchen (Champa is a national flower of Laos, she says) on July 2.
Born in Laos, she came to Canada from Savannakhet province in the southern part of the country when she was 14: her story is told many times by new Canadians.