Fonzie A. Phan is CEO of the International Farmers Market on Jimmy Carter Boulevard:
I was born in Vietnam. I grew up on a farm. We grew our own stuff and sold it in the market.
I came here in 1981. I started working in the DeKalb Farmers Market. I worked there for 10 years. After that, I saw that a lot of international people were moving to Atlanta, so I decided to open up my own [market]. My wife works with me, my brother works with me, my son, my daughter, my whole family works with me.
To me, food is the true melting pot. When people are eating at the dinner table, they can talk and solve their problems. So I wanted to bring food from all over the world to anyone from any nationality. Its very hard for some people to try to find the food from their own hometown in Atlanta, so sometimes we have to fly [products] in, boat them in, truck them in.
This country has lots of opportunities for anyone willing to work hard. Trying to get food for every single customer is not easy. I think the key thing is that it comes from your heart.