Retiring Jian hands her restaurant to her sisters
ARRIVING from China with no spoken English and just $50 in her pocket, a young mother took the first steps on a new journey in Australia.
Fast forward 26 years and that young mother, Jian Hua Cheng, learned English, studied business and worked hard to become a successful businesswoman, embracing her new homeland and encouraging her sisters to also make the journey.
For 17 years, Jian's Sushi and Noodle in Harbour Dr has been the place to go for noodles and sushi but it hasn't always been that way.
In the early days, Jian had to convince the public to try her sushi delights.
"I was so happy many of the people in Coffs were open minded and tried the different food, in particular that children were prepared to try sushi," she said.
Jian has a reputation for quality, value and service. She proudly uses local produce where possible - "it's the freshest" - and her dumplings, using a recipe taught to Jian by her grandmother, are one of the most popular dishes in her busy, award-winning restaurant.
Jian's sisters, Zhu Hua and Wen Hong, are familiar faces to regular diners, having worked alongside Jian for more than 10 years. Now that Jian is retiring, her sisters will take over the business, retaining the same great dishes, friendly staff and welcoming ambience.
"I learn so much from my customers and very much appreciate their loyalty, support and friendship, and am confident this feeling will extend to my sisters as they take on the business," Jian said.
She is going to travel Australia, with her husband Doug, and wanted to thank the Coffs Harbour community who, for more than 20 years, supported a brave, determined young woman from Qingdao, China, to become, "a proud Coffs Harbour citizen and proudly Australian".