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By Jesse Utz 

Gems in the Coulee: Kachane Piturachsatit

 


Most of you may never have met him, others just once or twice. Some will know the name only. Most will know at least one of his boys, some all three, but everyone will know Siam Palace.

If you have lived here ever in your life and moved away, one of the first things you do when you come home to Coulee Country is to get some Siam Chow Mien. My sister does, the Seekins boys do and travelers from all over the area do. Kachane has done something right in those noodles but that is not why he is a Gem.

Yes, the Siam Palace is a trademark of the area but the man behind the wooden elephant that sits just inside the door to greet you has done more for the people in Coulee Country and beyond, more than we will ever know.

To start with, he and Cheryl have raised three great kids here. They all left and, guess what? They returned to serve us too. Two teachers and one in the kitchen of the Siam, ready to take over the reins when dad says it is time. Nate has opened up two businesses too; with the help of his wife, he serves us ice cream and our wives have good looking hair, thanks to a salon. But just because his kids have returned to raise their kids here is not the only reason he is a Gem.

Kachane is a quiet man, he does not speak very much unless he knows you real well and then it might be in quick bursts behind an infectious smile. But in those quick moments of conversation you can learn a lot if you listen. Kachane is a businessman at heart and that is why Siam Palace has been so successful, even in a poor economy. If he is willing to tell you his secret, he may just tell you, but I know from working with him for the short time I did that customer service is a very big component to Siam Palace. Good service, great food and a family atmosphere. What more could you want? But all that is only a part of what makes him a Gem.

If you ask his grandkids about “Papa,” you are bound to get a bunch of different adjectives. But one thing for sure is that he spoils them, and he enjoys doing it. Whether it is a fishing trip for walleye or a new big wheel toy truck, a trip to Disneyland or Coeur d’Alene, he is willing to give everything of himself to these cherubs. The smile on his face when he is with these kids is bigger than anyone has ever seen before on this man.

His heart does not stop with just his kids, grandkids and family. He has helped others in the community, too. Too many to list all here. But for one, he has helped me and my family in many ways. Advice, jobs and an extended family, just to say a few things. He also hosted a fundraiser at his restaurant on a Sunday, his day off. That meant a lot. His kids organized it, he and Mark cooked for it. All I can say is, it meant a lot to me and my family and there are many more stories out there like that one.

Businessman, family man, hard worker and friend. What more could you ask for in a Gem in the Coulee? Thank you, Kachane, for providing us with wisdom, grace and great chow mien.

OK, here is a secret: If you want him to talk, bring up Gonzaga Basketball; that will get him going, but he will probably want to bet on a game with you. I’m just saying.

 

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