I have always wanted to document my life in some way or form but I never was able to find a desired way to, nor did I have the time.
School, work, family, and personal life: all these things keep me quite busy. From a young age, I was often quite intrigued by and gravitated towards the idea of the food & beverage industry. This all came naturally as both my parents were owners of several restaurants around Metro Vancouver in the past 25 years. At the age of 15, I started working at my dad’s local ice cream shop, located in the Arbutus neighbourhood. I learned a lot there, making me want to strive for more job experience. After two years there, I went out and worked a couple part time jobs from small cafes to expensive and well known restaurants that were often considered tourist destinations.
My parents are hard workers and never gave up. They built their business when they first moved to Vancouver, a city that back then did not have many asian restaurants. My dad opened the first Japanese restaurant on Robson street, known for tapas and late hours, often attracting many young adults looking for a drink after work.
20+ years have gone by now and my parents are still working hard everyday. Although my dad’s first restaurant has been taken down by the city in order to build more housing, he is still doing what he loves: operating restaurants. Restaurant business is harder than it seems. Many customers do not see the long prep hours, the planning, the cleaning, and the never ending paper work that must be completed. Thank you to my mom for continuing to file through paper work everyday, keeping everything organized and the business aspect of the restaurants running. Being a restaurant owner means long hours, sometimes until 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning and coming home to your family already in bed. Sometimes it means vacations are shorter and days off are hardly ever there.
When the pandemic hit this year, there was lots of uncertainty. I could feel how stressed my parents were watching the news every morning for updates on how the economy would begin to run despite the smile they put on. I helped out every now and then during the first few months, answering take out calls and packing up orders for the delivery drivers to bring. It felt… out of place?
Fast forward to now, I quit my current restaurant job and decided to come back to contribute to the family business. My parents have helped me for the past 21 years and now it is my turn to give back. It has been a while since I worked at any of their restaurants but it feels good and I enjoy the extra time I get to spend with my dad. We drive to work in the morning and drive back at night. It may seem boring and rather simple but those extra 20 or 30 minutes we get to talk makes me happy. My dad often leaves for work very early and comes back late, often tired and days off are maybe once every two weeks but with the pandemic, it has turned into months.
This blog will be documenting the days I spend at work and the food I get to enjoy. But most importantly, it is also here so that one day, I can look back on this strange period of time where hardships arose and the resilience and determination that my parents had to keep everything running.
Stay Healthy Everyone!