Having just reached 10 years of business, Lai began Koy in 2011 when the population of Kyle was less than half of what it is now, according to the U.S. census. The rapid growth of Hays County and the city in general sparked a desire to start his own business.“I saw that Kyle was growing with the hospital coming in, booming like crazy,” Lai said.
When he opened 10 years ago, he had a smaller staff of around 10 people. His business grew steadily, but when the pandemic hit, he had to shut down indoor dining. Lai said he lost about half his staff and is still struggling to hire people.
However, while indoor dining was shut down, the business remained afloat due to pickup orders and third-party delivery services.
In the past few months, with restrictions easing, Koy is able to serve customers in booths and at tables as well as continue to offer pickup and delivery.
With a range of classic Chinese dishes, all made to order, and a sushi bar, Koy serves a blend of cuisines that Lai says are what set him apart from businesses in the area: real, authentic food, not “American-Chinese meals,” as he put it.
Now, Lai says Koy is busier than ever due to the efforts put in to survive the lockdowns of the pandemic. Despite his success, he said he is happy with where the business is at and what it has going for it. Lai wants to be able to focus entirely on the sole location at Kyle Parkway.
Koy Chinese and Sushi, 5695 Kyle Parkway, Ste. 800, Kyle. 512-268-3336. www.koykyle.net
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.