Business is thriving at Taste of Angkor, the Cambodian restaurant in Sacramento that Mora Som ’13 opened in 2015. The restaurant, inspired by Som’s Southeast Asian background and serving dishes like papaya salad and beef skewers, expanded to the space next door last April. And in January, Som opened SEA Hut, a takeout joint in Elk Grove that offers boba and Asian fusion plates. “It takes a lot of dedication and self-motivation to run a business, especially a restaurant,” Som said. Success was not always a given for Som, who had her first daughter at 13, and another at 14. Despite the challenges she faced from early motherhood, Som motivated herself to finish high school and go to college. “I wanted my daughters to be normal. I pushed myself to get a good job, working hard to provide for them. It made me stronger as a person,” she said. Som spent seven years at Cosumnes River College before transferring to UC Davis. The idea for the restaurant came after she ran a lucrative food fundraiser to cover her brother’s funeral expenses in 2011. “If you have the passion to do what you love, you can succeed,” Som said.