We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Pryke and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
As we just opened our first brick and mortar location in February of this year, finding balance is definitely still a work in progress.

To me, balance is about ensuring that the business doesn’t become all consuming and that I don’t define my self worth by how the business is doing. Although Native Noodles is my baby and so important to me, it’s crucial to remember that work is still only one part of life! I try to make small commitments to spend time on things that interest me and that are good for self-development, like staying physically active, reading, and spending quality time with family and friends.

I think about balance less as putting pressure on myself to spend X less hours at work and X more hours doing other things, but more as setting boundaries and establishing habits that allow for a healthy relationship with work and that give me space for self-development and relationship building.

What should our readers know about your business?
I am really proud of bringing Singaporean food to NYC at a price point that is accessible to many. It’s been so exciting to see people discover the awesome flavors in Singaporean cuisine, and to start conversations and build community around a shared love for food.

Native Noodles launched at Queens Night Market in my final semester of business school in 2019, and we have since opened our first physical location in Washington Heights NYC. From working the overnight shift in a commercial kitchen to prep everything, to bargaining with Uber XL drivers to take me (and all the food I had to sell!) to the market, to finally having a restaurant to call my own – it’s been a journey for sure. Beyond the physical challenges of the restaurant industry, it’s also been challenging overcoming doubts and imposter syndrome. There’ve been so many times people have tried to talk me out of opening a restaurant or going into this business, but I am really glad that I stuck to my vision and belief in the concept.

I would love to share the message that it’s totally fine to pivot to an entirely different industry – the most important thing is to understand what you are trying to build and why, and to show up and push through the challenges. I am so excited for what’s ahead for Native Noodles as we look to expand our menu and reach in NYC in the months ahead.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would go for a bike ride across one of NYC’s iconic bridges – whether it’s the Brooklyn, Manhattan or Williamsburg bridge, the ride will offer amazing city and water views. We’d have to stop at Levain Bakery for the best cookies, go to Essex Market to visit the amazing food vendors there (including some friends from the Queens Night Market!), and we’d also get triple berry cream cheese french toast bagels (yes, they exist) at Tompkins Square Bagels.

I would also bring them to the amazing Queens Night Market – it’s reopening in a week and is a rare placewhere you can find underrepresented cuisines and hear the unique stories of the vendors all in one place. There’s usually live entertainment, tons of good food at great prices and opportunities to cross paths with a hugely diverse set of New Yorkers.

The city has some of the best museums as well, and my idea of a perfect day is a morning at The Met, a stroll in Central Park, and then a visit to Albertine Bookstore, a gorgeous French-American reading room/bookstore that is a true hidden gem. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am extremely fortunate to have the most supportive parents! It has definitely been a journey – it took my mom a while to come around to the idea of me starting a restaurant business (all the risks! the hard life!), but I know it’s always come from a place of wanting what’s best for me. After seeing how determined I was to go for it, my parents have come around and are my biggest cheerleaders. Also want to give a huge shoutout to my fiancé – he’s been my rock during these first few months of opening the restaurant!

Website: www.nativenoodles.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/nativenoodlesnyc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nativenoodlesnyc/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.