After fire, St. Paul’s Eggroll Queen needs help getting back on the road

The queen herself

The queen herself Eggroll Queen

Know how sometimes bad things happen to good people?

Well, there’s a woman in St. Paul named Mai Vang -- you might know her as the Eggroll Queen. She brings deep-fried deliciousness to the Twin Cities, both with bulk orders (a dozen for 20 bucks) and grab-and-go eats served out of her beloved food trailer. This beloved food trailer:

Eggroll Queen

Eggroll Queen

You’ll often find her spreading egg roll joy on St. Paul streets during the warmer months.

Vang is all about giving back to the community -- so much so that there’s a section in the Eggroll Queen FAQs on how to ask for help with your upcoming fundraiser. (“Sometimes we can help everyone and sometimes we can’t, but we’ll do our best,” the listing reads.) She tells City Pages it’s the least she can do, a little way to thank the neighbors who helped launch her business after she went deaf in 2013. “I'm committed to four benefits per year for the community, from group to individual,” she says.

But on January 14, when she was running one of those fundraisers -- this time, to help her uncle defray the cost of her grandmother’s funeral -- Vang's trailer caught fire. It was totally ruined, and Vang has been out of commission since.

Now, for some good news: The community is rallying around her once again. There's a GoFundMe to save the Eggroll Queen's food truck, and as of Wednesday morning, they've already raised $2,750 of their $7,600 goal.

The hope is to close down the campaign by the end of this month or mid-March, after which, Vang's plan is to do a garage sale and borrow from friends and family to get back on the road. She wants to be up and running again as soon as possible, hopefully by April.

“Making egg rolls is lots of work, but it gives me a purpose to live on because people love them," Vang says. "Now that I am deaf, I felt so useless and depressed. Making awesome egg rolls for the community helps me a lot. My focus is no longer on my disability … it’s on being useful as a human.”

We can help Vang get that focus back.