Architect grandson to build on Seefah founder's legacy
Korn Rachjaibun, a third-generation restaurateur of the Rachjaibun family, carries on his recently deceased grandfather's dreams and hopes to industrialise the family-owned restaurant chain into a diversified food business ranging from conventional and quick eats to frozen foods, catering and microwave chow.
Korn, 30, is the grandson of Pleng Rachjaibun, who founded Seefah restaurant, which opened its first noodle shop at Ratchawong in 1936.
The family has dabbled with many new business models and formats including the opening of Blue Light, a retail kiosk at Tops Supermarket in Central Chidlom for selling microwave foods and take-home products. They recently paired up with local entrepreneurs to open Thai restaurants in England and Hong Kong.
Korn is the latest entrant into the family-owned business and has been at it for about nine months. He is in-charge of quality control and development of menu items as well as marketing its two new restaurants Blue Spice and Im Thai Noodle Bar.
He also tends to construction and interior design work of Seefah restaurants at Fashion Island and Central World, to be launched shortly. "My dream is to establish Seefah as a well-known brand, an outstanding restaurant in terms of providing quality food just as my grandfather did," said Korn, whose grandfather died last month at the age of 93.
The Seefah restaurant chain, which has 18 branches, is currently looked after by the second-generation of Rachjaibun family - Taveerat, Maneekorn, and Jintana. While Jitti, Korn's father, is in charge of another family business: Thanasiri Diesel Co Ltd, which imports ball bearings and Denso diesel pump products.
Korn and his older sister Nitta look after the daily operation of the family's two new restaurant brands - Blue Spice and Im Thai Noodle Bar.
Blue Spice restaurant has four outlets including a one each on Soi Thong Lor and Wireless Road. The first Im Thai Noodle Bar outlet opened in May at Life Centre shopping complex on Sathorn Road.
"The Seefah restaurant, with more than 300 different menu items, targets a family crowd. While Im Thai Noodle Bar is a unique noodle bar. It will serve customers with individual tastes," said Korn, adding that Blue Spice targets both Thai and foreign customers, who like international cuisine including Chinese, Western, and Thai foods.
Korn graduated from the Faculty of Architecture from the King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang in 1998 and worked at Steven J Leach, an international interior design company, as a designer for two years. He then obtained a two-year associate degree in culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America before working at many restaurants including Highline Restaurant, Spigolo Cuisine, and Café Centro in New York.
He is back to help his family-owned restaurant business for nine months.
"I love to study and work in the architectural field. I might have to come back and spend time on my family-run business one day. However, I find there are certain similarities between being a chef and an architect," said Korn.
"The ability to design products is important. Both fields of profession require the same principle of thought."