Jackie Nguyen, owner, Cafe Cà Phê

After acting in New York for 10 years and then touring with the Broadway revival of Miss Saigon, Jackie Nguyen, a first-generation American born to Vietnamese refugees, decided to move to Kansas City to launch Missouri’s first mobile Vietnamese coffee cart, Cafe Cà Phê. “I found a thriving food scene and a Vietnamese community here,” she says, “and I wanted to add my creativity and cultural experiences to the mix by using something mainstream like coffee – in particular, my Vietnamese iced coffee, cà phê đá – to bring people together.” Blending her friendly personality with her professional barista skills, Nguyen is on a mission to make Cafe Cà Phê a safe place for people to try something new such as the aforementioned drink. Sweet but strong, Vietnamese iced coffee is made with highly caffeinated Vietnamese coffee beans, mixed with sweetened condensed milk and poured over ice. The Vietnamese hot chocolate – made with sesame milk, condensed milk and chocolate – is also delicious, and at Cafe Cà Phê, even traditional coffees get a shot of something special such as cardamom, sesame or ube syrup. Need something to munch on while you enjoy your coffee? Nguyen sells honey-glazed donuts from Mr. D’s Donut Shop, a cult favorite located in Shawnee, Kansas. cafecaphe.com (Photo by Pilsen Photo Co-op)