When the Prapisilp family emigrated to the US in the 1970s they opened Jays Asian Foods, now known as Jays International on South Grand. Soon after, they opened the King and I, St. Louis' first Thai restaurant.
For the last several decades, they have continued to open restaurants and grocery stores including Oishi Sushi, Chao Baan, Global Foods and United Provisions.
Along with their son Shayn, who now acts as vice president for the family-run company, the Prapaisilp's have been a driving force in the growing popularity of Thai cuisine in St. Louis. They've demonstrated that it goes far beyond what most people think of when they think Thai food.
Shayn joined us on the podcast this week to talk about how the diversity and culture of the food scene in St. Louis has evolved and exploded over the years, how the second generation is taking the reins of so many local restaurants, and why despite studying political science in college in D.C., he ended up back home in St Louis leading the charge of his family's business, Global Foods Group, which oversees King & I, Oishi Sushi, Oishi Steakhouse, Chao Baan, United Provisions and Global Foods Market in the St. Louis area.