Huong "CoCo" Tran is the creative force behind both Heart & Soy and Roots restaurants. A pioneer in the Louisville restaurant industry, she opened Egg Roll Machine – the first Chinese take-out restaurant in the city in 1980, Café Mimosa – the first Vietnamese restaurant in the city in 1986, Zen Garden – the first Asian vegetarian restaurant in the city in 1999, and Zen Tea House – Louisville’s first and only Asian tea house that offered not only a vegetarian menu but an extensive list of high quality loose leaf teas procured from estates found all over the world.
Zen Garden has received consecutive Best of Louisville awards for the past ten years from several local media publications. Tran is also known for her innovative and inspired restaurants throughout the Louisville area as well as her commitment to raising money for local and international charities through her profits and fundraisers. Each year she hosts a Customer Appreciation Dinner on Thanksgiving Eve offering free vegetarian meals to all patrons and over the past ten years has raised more than $35,000 for non-profit organizations such as Family Scholar House, Compassionate Service Society, Paws with Purpose and Hand in Hand Ministries.