Twelve years ago, Jadim arrived as a refugee in Salt Lake City with the help of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). As she adapted to life in Utah with her husband and three kids, she dreamed of opening her own food business. "I love to cook. I wanted to share my culture’s food," Jadim said. "No one made my food the same as me, so I wanted to make it for people." 

She discovered the Spice Kitchen Incubator program, a small business initiative at the International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City that aimed at empowering aspiring entrepreneurs like herself. 

"I heard about the Spice program through one of my friends," Jadim recalls. "She told me that the Spice program is looking for people who are interested in starting restaurants." 

Jadim submitted her application in 2022 and soon found herself standing before the Spice team, showcasing her culinary skills. They saw her potential and started working with her towards her dream of owning a food business. 

"I really appreciate this program," Jadim expresses with gratitude. "I have learned a lot of stuff. I’m like a kindergartener, and they are teaching me. I’m learning everything." 

Through the program, Jadim not only learned how to run a food business, but also discovered the nuances of communication within the food industry. She proudly displays her certifications for her stores at Spice Kitchen Incubator, Square Kitchen, and Woodbine Food Hall, evidence of her dedication and hard work. 

"At the beginning, I did catering. Then I started selling to-go food at Spice on 9th," Jadim said. "If I wanted to accomplish my goal, I had to have patience." 

In November 2023, Jadim opened her restaurant, Shwe Latyar Sushi, at Woodbine Food Hall. It is currently the only Burmese restaurant in Utah and she welcomes patrons eager to experience the flavors of Burma. 

"I want to spread around the world starting in Utah, right here in Salt Lake City," Jadim shares, her eyes shining with determination. "Maybe next year I will open a restaurant on the North side. Maybe next year the South side, then the West and East sides." 

Jadim has become a cherished member of her community, with teachers from her children's school rallying behind her entrepreneurial endeavors and spreading the word of her culinary talents. 

"My kids' teachers come here and support me. They know I am new here, and they come here, take pictures, and tag me on Instagram."

Jadim's journey from her homeland in Burma to Salt Lake City has been one filled with resilience, determination, and a passion for sharing her culture through food. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, her story teaches strength and entrepreneurial spirit of refugee women around the world. 

Support Jadim and other female refugee entrepreneurs by considering a donation to the IRC’s Spice Kitchen Incubator.