Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - From a single cart to an empire

From a single cart to an empire

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kruosa Lotchha Nomkouchhay KLC 1987 received an outstanding entrepreneur award this year. PHOTO SUPPLIED

From a single cart to an empire

Cambodian “lort cha” (stir-fried rice pin noodles) and Nom Kacchay (leek rice cakes) are two of the Kingdom’s most popular street foods. The residents of towns across the country have long grown used to the sight of the small carts meandering around their streets each day.

With smoke rising from tuk-tuk by the roadside, Pin Punreay ladles a tasty sauce atop a bowl of piping hot leek rice cakes. Despite sweating in the heat of the fire he cooks over each day, he has vowed to persevere in this business. In fact, he has already begun building a franchise empire.

He inherited his first cart from his parents in 1987, and has grown the simple operation into a complex one.

He began by designing distinctive packaging and signage so that customers would recognise his brand and know they could expect quality products.

He also opened his first fixed sales location, in Siem Reap province. With the excellent taste of his parents’ recipes, he has been able to successfully promote his brand.

Punreay now has six branches, one in Phnom Penh, and the rest ready to tantalise the taste buds of both tourists and locals in Siem Reap.

Kruosa Lotchha Nomkouchhay KLC 1987 is the name of his business, using a different transliteration of “lort cha”.

“We also wholesale noodles and chive cakes. We package them hygienically and attractively. This means they can be sent abroad or cooked by customers in their own homes,” he said.

He also has a lucrative sideline supplying noodles and cakes to other vendors in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Thanks to his carefully chosen locations in Siem Reap, he is able to attract many of the international tourists who visit the province to be wowed by the grandeur of the Angkor Archaeological Park and its magnificent temples.

He has received high praise from nearly every foreigner who has been tempted by his wares.

In addition, he has been able create work for the members of nearly 300 families who dwell near the Bakong Temple complex, which are located to the east of Siem Reap town. The community produces raw materials, including leek, and also produce the cakes.

Punreay taught the villagers the art of making his parents’ famous cakes, and now buys them back from the villagers.

“There is another community in Banteay Srei district which supplies us with palm sugar, which is one of the key ingredients in our unique sauce formula. By providing this kind of employment, my business contributes to a reduction in outward migration in these villages – especially for women who have not finished high school,” he added.

Punreay plans to expand his branches across the country, saying that his ambition is for his cakes to be associated with the Kingdom the way pho is when it comes to Vietnam.


  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one

  • Water supply authority assures public shortages over early ‘24

    The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) asked for understanding from Phnom Penh residents in some communes where water pressure is weak. They assured residents that all supply issues will be resolved by early 2024, but have suggested that residents use water sparingly in the meantime.

  • PM urges end to ‘baseless’ international Ream base accusations

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urges an end to “baseless” foreign accusations surrounding the development of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base, as the US has consistently suggested that the base is being expanded to accommodate a Chinese military presence. Hun Sen renewed his calls while

  • Khmer ballet documentary debuts April 1

    A new documentary, The Perfect Motion, or Tep Hattha in Khmer, will premiere to the public on April 1. The documentary film follows two intertwined storylines: the creation of a show called Metamorphosis by the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi (her very last production) and the