About Karma Waters and the Founder
Karma Waters is a family founded & managed business and charity and was started in 2005. We have two vegan restaurants, one in Hoi An and one in Danang, Vietnam.
We operate our vegan restaurants and tours as a “commercially viable not-for-profit cooperative” where our aim is grow our restaurants and tourism to support our community, our employees and do charity work through our restaurants and within the local community such as food distribution at local hospitals.
We believe in promoting sustainable communities based on an organic healthy vegan lifestyle so humans can thrive on this wondrous planet of ours.
Our employees are personally committed to a healthy organic vegan lifestyle and to provide and promote a healthy organic vegan for everyone.
We hope you can visit Karma Waters and enjoy our organic, vegan food and take any of our tours or even do an authentic homestay to learn about Vietnamese culture with a Vietnamese family.
Nguyen Thi Bao Duyen (Grace Nguyen)
Founder of Karma Waters
I am Grace Nguyen, an IT graduate, a professional vegan chef, and the co-owner of 2 vegan restaurants called Karma Waters in Vietnam. I also help run the Karma Waters Charitable Association as well as teach vegan cooking classes, create menu to restaurants and host private dinners.
Since 2005, I have been developing fine Vietnamese and Western vegan dishes and menus for 13 years and I have taught vegan cooking classes in 3 countries. The delicious vegan dishes and drink offerings served at the Karma Waters restaurants, are all my personal creations. In addition, I formulate all of the Karma Waters baking mixes and drink mixes which are sold by Karma Waters in Vietnam and internationally. The Karma Waters businesses showcase the best aspects of Vietnam’s Buddhist Vegan culture. They are also places where we share ideas with visitors, of how to live a healthy organic vegan family lifestyle!
How Karma Waters Began
I became vegetarian in 2002, and later a vegan. I became vegetarian myself because of an incident with a fish. Yes, a fish changed my life! One day, while I was in China, I went with my friends to a market to buy fish. I didn’t know that the fish sold in the markets in China were still alive, and that the sellers had to kill them in front of the buyers. This is the usual practice in China (but not in my home country of Vietnam, where fish are usually killed prior to sale). The Chinese fish seller used a big knife to hit the fish’s head to kill it. That moment shocked me. She had to hit it 3 times; witnessing the fish slowly dying was the worst incident in my life. At that moment I believed I could feel the fish communicating with me “Why do you have to kill me to please your taste buds? Look how big you are and you’re killing me, an innocent being, just for your eating pleasure. Just how cruel are you? etc.”. I still remember that moment clearly today. The seller then put the fish in a plastic bag and I walked home carrying the bag in my hand; before I opened the door of my home, the fish convulsed a few last times before it really stopped breathing. I was so scared. I couldn’t hold the plastic bag any longer and I threw it on the ground. Then another ‘message’ from the fish came clearly to my mind, telling me “I died because of you, please remember that. I hope you will pay for what I am going through.” That night I didn’t eat anything except rice and soy-sauce. I couldn’t sleep and I kept thinking about the fish’s eyes staring at me angrily. The next day I became a vegetarian and vowed to never again eat the flesh of living creatures.
Very shortly after that, I started to live even more compassionately as a vegan, never again eating the eggs, dairy products or eating anything else which comes from living creatures. I even took guidance from Vietnamese Buddhist friends, from reading books and watching videos to live a compassionate lifestyle.
As a vegan, I quickly learned to cook vegan dishes which gave me great joy knowing I was helping the animals, my health and the environment so, with my family, we decided to open a restaurant.
In early 2005 my family had opened Karma Waters, our first vegan restaurant, in Hoi An, Vietnam. Then, in early 2013, we opened a second Karma Waters vegan restaurant in Danang, Vietnam.
I am now a competent self-taught chef and I have cooked vegan dishes for many thousands of people from all over the world. In addition, I hope to bring to the joy of veganism to everyone I meet.