The blood of entrepreneurship runs through the veins of Chinatown’s Chinese food business owners, as three of the longest-running businesses have their children enter the management fields of their family business.
Tony and Selina Chun, together with Alan and Helen Chun, who have been in the business for decades, fully trusted their children to run the meat market company they bought in the 1980s.
The older generation passed it down to their children believing that they would treat it the same way they had after 40 years of building and creating the Chinatown cornerstone with crispy roast pigs, burnished roast ducks, and glazed char siu along with butcher store and seafood vendor.
Frankie, 35, and his cousins are now in charge of running the company that they established through diligence and thrift. Given that they have a family business to manage, Frankie has known since then that he won’t take long in any career.
He was reported in Honolulu magazine as saying, “I knew that anything I was going to pursue wasn’t going to be lengthy, because the family would always ask us back for support.”
He and his cousins learned the operations as a result of early exposure to the business and used them as a means of support, which pleased their parents, especially when they took their first vacation in four decades.
Meanwhile, Liana Fang, whose parents Wesley and Jie Mei Fang founded Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery, assists in running the business.
The pair bought the bakery from its original owners and then expanded it by bringing in more goods. The homemade goods were prepared using original family recipes that they later improved.
The 27-year-old claims she adores Chinatown but acknowledges that she is more passionate about cooking than baking. “It’s so authentic. I love Asian food, the fresh markets, the mom-and-pop shops,” she said.
Completing the list, the 33-year-old daughter of Sun Chong supermarket co-owner Ann Sung also contributes to management of the business.
Sun helps them sell their products and other items by marketing it online and by helping accomplish other stuff needed in the business.
Sun, who grew up at the shop with her cousins, said that their business is like a thread that can connect generations. She also claimed that coming home after studying abroad was like paying back her mother, who had done everything for her. Sun plans to update and improve her mother and aunt’s traditional business structure.