AAPI MONTH AT PHL: Recognizing Michiko Thwe: 2023 ACDBE Academy Participant

May is Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) celebrates the diverse cultures and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the achievements and ongoing impact they have on our society.  

Four people in airport food courtMichiko Thwe, co-founder of Sushi Awarsei, was a part of PHL’s 2023 Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Academy, a program developed and delivered by PHL and MarketPlace PHL to assist small firms to better understand how to grow their business and access the opportunities that airport concessions programs provide.

“The ACDBE Academy allowed me to open my mind and familiarize myself with how to become a successful small business owner. It prepared me to take the next steps in becoming a serial entrepreneur,” said Thwe.

Thwe came to the United States from Myanmar in 2010. She began her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University in 2020 and, in 2022, with co-founder Steven Kaung Kyaw, established Sushi Awarsei, a wholesale sushi company specializing in supplying dining teams. Sushi Awarsei originates from the Japanese word “shiawase” which means happiness. Thwe started Sushi Awarsei as a way to assist Southeast Asian immigrants interested in the sushi industry by providing employment opportunities. Sushi Awarsei allows companies like Aramark to serve fresh sushi daily through their contractors, like Jefferson Health, Einstein Healthcare Network and LaSalle University.

"We have received great feedback from the attendees of our two ACDBE Academies. More importantly, we have been introduced to some terrific regional businesses, like Sushi Awarsei, and gained constructive insight on common misconceptions about operating an airport location.  All of this will help us continue to support our small business communities." said Denise Bailey, the Department of Aviation's Vice President of Business Diversity and Accessibility.  

Since participating in the 2023 ACDBE Academy Sushi Awarsei has experienced significant growth. There are currently 22 locations across Pennsylvania that sell sushi provided by the company. 


Media Contacts

Christine Ottow
Director of Strategic Communications
[email protected]
Heather Redfern
Public Affairs Manager
[email protected]

Social Links

Twitter Logo FaceBook Logo Flickr Logo Instagram Logo
Notice of Privacy Practices