Banh Mi, Thanks to Mi
Mi Sullivan of Mi Mi Café food cart offers Vietnamese coffee, Banh Mi sandwiches
Mi Sullivan says she has three babies: her six-month-old daughter, Mari; her personal training business, Be Fit With Mi; and her newest venture. Mi Mi Café – a Vietnamese coffee and banh mi food cart that frequents the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market and offers lunch catering for local businesses and events.
Food is my biggest passion,
I want to eat, enjoy, work out, and be healthy.
“My philosophy is you should be able to enjoy your life while being healthy, instead of limiting yourself and forcing yourself to follow a certain diet or a certain workout trend,” Sullivan said, “because it will never stick. It has to be a lifestyle.”
Sullivan and her husband, Dan, launched Be Fit With Mi in summer 2019, but when COVID-19 hit and in-home training wasn’t feasible, they knew they had to get creative on how to stay afloat.
“We’ve been doing sport medicine for our entire life,” Sullivan said, “So what the hell is our skill?”
When Sullivan was pregnant with their daughter – and pondering how to support her family financially – she began craving her culture’s food, food from her home in Saigon, Vietnam: banh mi. That’s when her husband recommended starting a coffee cart, offering Robusta coffee (as opposed to the Arabica coffee beans more commonly used in the United States). Soon after, they knew they had found the perfect Vietnamese pairing: Robusta coffee and the popular sandwich, banh mi.
“At the end of the season, we’re like, well, this is going better than we thought,” she said. “OK, let’s try for it. Who cares? There’s nothing to lose anyway.”
Their banh mi sandwiches are an authentic Vietnamese recipe that Sullivan learned from her mother, comprising a French-inspired baguette – with a nice toasted outer crust and softer bread on the inside – with pâté, mayo, pickled vegetables, green onion, and more. Everything is made fresh, sourced locally through their friends and neighbors at the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market. “Food is our love language,” she said. “Whenever you go to a Vietnamese household, you never leave hungry.”
And that’s how she’s been doing it ever since: fresh and local.
“Food is my biggest passion,” she said. “I want to eat, enjoy, work out, and be healthy.”
Find out more about Mi Mi Café at their website, badassbanhmi.com.