JACKSON, Wyo.—Just off the beaten path in Teton Village lies one of its most prized eateries: Teton Thai, gold winner for Best Asian Cuisine in this year’s Best of Jackson Hole.
Owners and operators Samuel and Suchada Johnson moved Teton Thai from downtown Jackson (today’s Thai Plate
location) to the Village in 2011, ten years after opening their first location. While Suchada runs the kitchen and is in charge of keeping their product consistently delicious, Sam runs the front of house and business logistics. In their nearly twenty years of business, the couple has watched Jackson’s food scene revolutionize. “There’s such a fun food culture going on here now,” says Johnson, in an interview with Buckrail. “To be recognized as one of the best is really nice.”
While winning accolades and being recognized for your hard work is always good, it’s not what drives them. “It’s always been about keeping quality in the food and the vibe of our restaurant high. To consistently crank out food in the volume that we do and to have it be at the same quality as it was when we first opened is really awesome,” says Johnson. The key to their consistency? Low turn-over rates and longevity.
Their longevity and loyal staff have allowed them to understand and adapt to the difficulties of running a restaurant in a ski town: namely our two-season year. With twenty years of experience, the Johnson’s have understood how to appreciate and utilize this seasonality. “You have to take advantage of the on-seasons, work hard and take nothing for granted.”
One thing the Johnson’s certainly don’t take for granted in the community in which they’ve put their roots. “We’ve been so lucky with the support and loyalty from people in this community,” says Johnson. “To watch it grow and to get to support other people’s ideas and projects like ours was supported is really awesome. We’re all rooting for each other. We are a part of this community and we support the town and want to give off the vibe that this is a great place to live.” The Johnsons make it a priority to donate to as many local charities and organizations as possible.
When it comes to their favorite local businesses, the couple’s long list spoke to their love and appreciation for their hardworking peers. Among their favorites were Pearl Street Bagels and Wilson Backcountry Sports. “I like how they operate,” says Johnson. “The crew at Pearl Street is always cranking and they just do a really great job. And the guys over at Wilson Backcountry, I really like what they stand for. They really stand for the Jackson Hole lifestyle.”