No happy ending yet for Pattaya riches-to-rags story

Chaom Doknangyam left his high-paying job to open a restaurant and take care of his wife, partially paralyzed after an accident.

It seemed like the right idea to quit his lucrative job managing a five-star restaurant, but Chaom Doknangyam couldn’t have imagined a pandemic would wreck his world.

The former manager of a five-star restaurant, Chaom, 53, has become a true riches-to-rags story. Once earning 100,000 baht a month, he now hawks homemade Thai jelly for 20 baht a box to survive.

Chaom quit his job in 2019 to spend more time caring for his wife, Sukanya Sritubtim, who uses a wheelchair due to an accident that left her partially paralyzed. He opened a small cook-to-order restaurant in Pattaya running at a slower pace, which was good for him as Chaom has only one kidney.

The pandemic and the government’s business-paralyzing Covid-19 restrictions caused Chaom to lose his restaurant.

Then came the coronavirus. The pandemic forced his restaurant to close and he went out of business, doomed by government Covid-19 restrictions.

He lost his house and his car and the couple moved into a small rental house costing just 1,000 baht a month. He then started selling fruit juices on the street for a living.

Chaom and Sukanya now eke out a living selling fruit juices and jellies on the street.

Surprisingly, juice sales did well during the New Year’s holiday and Chaom invested in making and selling jellies.

Despite their hardships, Chaom and his wife have not given up and continue to fight to get back to where they were.

Chaom takes orders for his jellies on Soi Khao Talo at 063-313-0241.