We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Huynh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe the most important factor behind the company’s success is our Customer Service. Ocean Palace Wholesale has been in business for 28 years and has always prioritized excellent Customer Service. All Ocean Palace employees are trained to always put our customers first. From competitive pricing, quality products, on time deliveries, and having a robust inventory of high demand products, our team will do whatever it takes to ensure our clients’ are always satisfied with our service. Members of the management team always make themselves available by phone, text message and email whenever clients have any questions or special requests. On a few occasions, we have opened up our warehouse on Sundays for clients that ran out of ingredients necessary to serve their most popular dishes during the weekend. For any potential clients, we are always available to answer any questions and help them compare the various products that we have in our inventory as well as the different prices. It is a priority that any potential new clients have all the information necessary to make the best decisions for their company. Recently, something I am most proud of is being a reliable source of high demand products to help both our clients as well as our local community during these unprecedented times with COVID-19. In addition to providing regular delivery services to restaurants, we are able to obtain and distribute products to our clients such as face masks, toilet paper, and rice. Our clients are our business partners and we want nothing more than to see them succeed. Ocean Palace is truly indebted to all of our warehouse workers, will-call operators, and delivery drivers. They are the ones who interact with our clients on a daily basis. They work together to guarantee that products are delivered safely and in a timely manner. Management works in partnership with all team members to run daily operations as smooth as possible so that we can exceed all client expectations. While customer service is a priority, the company’s success would not be possible without the incredible team of employees at Ocean Palace.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We’ve been in business for 28 years and serve all throughout San Diego county. Something that sets Ocean Palace apart from other wholesale companies is that we are a family business. My dad built Ocean Palace from the ground up, starting the business out of our home garage. His plans and dreams for a successful wholesale came to life with the help of my whole family. My brother (Brandon) and I wanted our dad’s legacy to continue when we stepped into company leadership. While we kept many of his core values and maintain many of his long time client relationships; we are also given the opportunity to find new ways to improve the operations and increase customer satisfaction. Our whole family is invested in the company’s well-being. Ocean Palace has been a huge part of my entire life growing up. I was able to see my dad build the company from scratch and I want nothing more than to ensure the company’s future success. I started working for my dad beginning at the age of 11, preparing orders for deliveries. Since then, I have grown up with the company and worked in all positions throughout the years. From organizing and printing directions to restaurants for delivery drivers, to helping my dad with inventory, to becoming a delivery driver myself. With all my experience at Ocean Palace, I can confidently say that I have learned many lessons over the years. However, there are a couple lessons that have really stuck with me. First is to treat your clients and employees like family and with respect. There are a number of clients who are still with Ocean Palace since my dad first began the company. Many of them were invited to my wedding. Secondly, don’t be afraid to take risks and try something new. If you don’t, you will regret it one day. Ocean Palace would not be where it is today if we did not take any risks. Lastly, a great work environment goes a long way. Our employees’ well-being is a priority and we send out quarterly surveys to hear their thoughts and ideas. I am so proud when employees tell us that they enjoy working at Ocean Palace and look forward to coming into work each day. Our employees help make everything possible.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many excellent restaurants in San Diego. When friends come to town they often leave saying that they wish they had more time to explore and try everything. It’s hard for me to be unbiased because I would say that any of the restaurants on my client list are a must try for Thai, Vietnamese, and fusion Asian. I also highly recommend visiting the Convoy District, some of my favorite foods on Convoy Street include Korean Fried Chicken, all you can eat Korean BBQ, and boba, desserts, and ice cream. Visit Hillcrest for popular eateries, especially for brunch and Little Italy for fine dining restaurants. Also Mexican food for carne asada fries, California burrito, or adobada and fish tacos is a must. Breweries are popular hot spots throughout the county as well. Some of the best beers in the U.S. are brewed here in San Diego. My favorite spots for microbreweries are North Park and Miramar. If you are feeling active, enjoy scenic hikes like Cowles Mountain, Mount Woodson for their famous potato chip rock, or Torrey Pines State Reserve for a rewarding view of the Pacific Ocean after your hike. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a trip to San Diego if you didn’t get a chance to enjoy some of the famous San Diego sunshine by visiting our popular beaches including La Jolla Cove, Coronado, Torrey Pines, Pacific Beach, Sunset Cliffs, and Mission Bay.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout series to my wife Kristen Huynh. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her by my side. My brother Brandon Huynh, I appreciate his dedication and continuous drive towards the company. Lastly, to my parents Binh and Thu Huynh, for all their sacrifice and hard work over the years. Thank you for planting the seed and building a strong foundation for us.