By last year, the population of Buford, Wyoming, had dwindled to exactly one: Don Sammons, who ran the convenience store, lived in a nearby mobile home and was ready to get out. So he put it up for auction, and Vietnamese businessman Pham Dinh Nguyen bought it for $900,000 -- and a lot of publicity. Yesterday, Nguyen announced that he plans to turn the place into an international java joint, which means if northern Colorado succeeds in seceding from the rest of the state to form SoWyo, residents won't have far to go to get a good cup of coffee.
The auction of a tiny Western town, population one, attracted lots of international attention, as well as bids from around the globe in April 2012.
Nguyen showed up to bid in person, holding his man purse...and his tongue about plans for what he planned to do with his prize. But seventeen months later, Buford was again the site of a major media gathering, as Nguyen announced that he's reopened the convenience store, where he'll sell his coffee, and will rename the town Buford PhinDeli -- which roughly translates as "Buford Delicious Filter Coffee Town."
His face is now up on a billboard advertising the venture.
Why the delay? Nguyen, who plans to run his operation out of Vietnam, had some trouble figuring out how to reopen the spot, and finally had to reach out to Sammons to help him get the fuel pumps turned back on and handle other Wyoming paperwork. He's also hired a caretaker to train with Sammons and take over the Buford Trading Post. "I like the neighborhood. No neighbors," Fred Patzer, who's moving there from Fort Collins, told a reporter.
It's the American way. And Nguyen has certainly drawn from this country for the official word on the PhinDeli website:
All men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, the pursuit of Happiness and enjoyment of Coffee.
We are the PhinDeli Corporation with a mission to bring the best of Vietnamese coffee style to all consumers worldwide with its unique taste and 100% safety.
Today, we officially make our Vietnamese Coffee Statement in the U.S land Buford, Wyoming owned by Vietnamese. We also officially announce the new naming of PhinDeli Town Buford with its 147 years of history.
Last year Nguyen Dinh Pham took the global media by storm by outbidding his competitors with a whopping $900,000 in a thrilling auction for the "nation's smallest town," Buford.
The 147-year old town will become PhinDeli Town Buford, starting the journey of the "The Vietnamese Coffee Statement" in the U.S.
If you travel to the U.S, drop by the 8,000 feet-elevation town and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese style coffee on the cold mountain. We guarantee you will appreciate why we call it the "Can-do" coffee.
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