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A shop of great import

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The story of Noi's Thai Imports in Baywood Park is a story 13 years in the making. When Wanda and Ron Miner opened Noi's Thai Takeout restaurant in 1994, they had always planned to expand it to include imports from Thailand, the country where they met and married. Unfortunately, the cost of importing and the demands of their popular restaurant forced them to postpone their dream.

TRY THAI :  Wanda and Ron Miner recently opened an import store that practically transports visitors directly to Thailand. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • TRY THAI : Wanda and Ron Miner recently opened an import store that practically transports visitors directly to Thailand.

# "We talked about it all the time," Ron said. "The menu always said 'Noi's Takeout and Imports.'"

It wasn't until this year that the couple was finally able to incorporate the long-awaited imports and create another small piece of Thailand within the sleepy streets of Baywood.

"Not a lot of Los Osos people have been to Thailand, and we want to share what we have in Thailand," Wanda said.

Noi's Thai Imports does exactly that. Adjacent to the restaurant, the store has a meditative front yard with a neatly combed sand garden, elephant wall-fountains, and a Thai spirit house--a small wooden structure that keeps the spirits happy and can be found outside most homes and business in Thailand. Inside is a collection of one-of-a-kind items gathered by the Miners during yearly visits to Thailand. Pieces range from tall wooden carvings to candles and postcards. In a few weeks, jewelry will join the other items on the shelves.

"This is our first year, so we're learning what people like," Ron said. "So we're not focused on any one thing."

Although the store doesn't have any specific hours, people are encouraged to ring a bell by the door and wait for help--but not to feel obligated to buy anything.

"It's not about selling," Wanda said. "It's like being [in] Thailand."

Noi's Thai Imports is located at 1288 2nd St. in Baywood Park. For more information, call the restaurant at 528-6647.

Intern Angela Watkins and Staff Writer Kai Beech compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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