July is turning out to be a memorable month for a Calgary family that’s taking a risk and starting a new business.
They’re getting widespread support from loyal customers who are spreading the word to help them survive and thrive.
Jack Deng and his two sons have just started running a small takeaway food outlet called Deng’s Dumplings in a strip mall in northeast Calgary.
“Before we opened this we had no experience in the restaurant business at all,” Hua Deng said.
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Things got off to a rough start when they opened their doors on Canada Day.
“We had no customers at all for the first three days — pretty stressful,” Hua Deng said. “After COVID, everyone’s been having a rough time.”
The family’s used to dealing with challenges, like the one presented when Jack Deng was laid off from his IT job because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dengs started anew with the family dumpling recipes they brought with them when they moved to Calgary from China in 2018.
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“Recipes from my mom, from my father, from my grandfather,” Jack Deng said.
Support gradually began building as customers discovered the food and started sharing their comments online.
“One mom and her three kids, they posted one post on Facebook and then everyone else started reposting it,” Hua Deng said.
Some customers enjoyed watching the support build.
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“It just blew up on Facebook,” customer Karen Wong said. “The post said, ‘these guys are struggling, they just opened and they’re not very busy’ and the next thing you know the lineups were crazy.”
The Dengs feel thankful that their fortunes have turned.
“I cannot stress enough how grateful we are about the Facebook page and the great things the internet has done for us,” Hua Deng said.
The family hopes to soon be hiring more people to work at Dengs Dumplings.
“Lots of people, they don’t have jobs — I can give them a job,” Jack Deng said. “I think I can make the best dumplings in Canada because I believe in myself.”
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