NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — In the back of Bea Gustin’s garage is a carrots, cabbage, onions, noodles egg roll rolling operation.
“There’s definitely an art to this because the rolls have to be tight,” she said.
It’s a recipe her mom brought from Laos when they moved to the United States when Bea was three.
“This is something she’s had since the very beginning when we first came to the states and something that we shared another culture, and people just loved it and it brought people together and that’s what our culture is about as well,” Gustin said.
It’s a recipe she ran on when she became a mom for the second time and left her job as a business analyst.
“I knew I didn’t want to go into the corporate world because I wanted to be able to raise my kids but I also wanted to work and so something came to me, I’d like to say Jesus, let’s do the farmer’s market, let’s sell egg rolls,” she said.
She started selling the egg rolls at the Fisher’s Farmers market seven years ago.
“Our first market was the summer of 2011,” Gustin said, “And we fried in a wok.”
A wok that wasn’t going to cut it. She and her husband found an outdoor fryer within a week. Since then that fryer has had a line behind it that Gustin says has reached an estimated half a mile long.
“I get people telling me all the time, ‘Oh my gosh, I was parked all the way over there, I could smell it from all the over there and I had to follow the scent,” she said.
A scent, recipe and egg roll that has given her a nick name.
“I’m the egg roll lady and I love it. I don’t think it’s insulting, but I’ll go to church, I’ve been at Costco, ‘Oh there’s the egg roll lady.’ My van got rear ended a couple years ago and I get out the car, the guy gets out of the car, he’s like ‘Oh crap, it’s the egg roll lady.'”
The egg roll lady who is doing all of this for a bigger purpose.
“When I realized at year three or four at how quickly this was growing, I knew I always wanted to give back,” Gustin said.
She found a program that builds schools in several countries.
“One of the countries that they work with is in Laos,” she said.
The country that both she and the recipe for her egg rolling operation come from.