Hunan Garden owner gives others a feeling of home.

KEARNEY — Joy Zhao, a Chinese immigrant, is living the American dream. She wants everyone in Kearney understand her gratitude by making sure that they feel at home in her small business Hunan Garden Chinese Restaurant. This restaurant will be celebrating its 10th year.

She explained that “Kearney’s people are so kind and affirm Me for ten generations.” “I try to help them because they have always helped me.”

What does the name of your company mean?

“Hunan” is one of the Chinese states. Many people can speak Mandarin, Hunan and Szechuan. They also know it is Chinese food. It’s like everyone can call your restaurant “Missouri restaurant”. However, if they only say “backyard restaurant”, they don’t know which country it is. Zhao stated that if they say ‘Hunan’, then they will know it’s Chinese food. “I bought it from different people with the title”

Is this why it is so hard for the company?

Joy stated that it can sometimes be difficult to satisfy the needs of clients who are not out of the area due to rising food and equipment costs.

“Some people will ask bizarre questions, even though they are not from the same area as their neighbors. They may request items from different areas, as Chinese food is made in different ways or with different ingredients. She explained that if they don’t like something or say it isn’t right, they feel terrible. It doesn’t happen often but it does happen. I feel terrible because I want everyone to be happy.”

What makes this company so rewarding?

“When I see people contented. Sometimes I’ll look at Google to see the testimonials. It’s amazing that we have a great reputation and that for five consecutive years we were named the best Chinese restaurant in Northland (at the Courier-Tribune’s annual Best of the Northland contest). It makes me happy,” she said. It is all thanks to the people at Kearney. They are always so friendly and encouraging. They are not clients but more like friends. I get to know their babies, how they are doing and what they think of me. I also discuss my maintenance needs once they become ill. Although I work seven days a week, I never take a day off. I am happy and really satisfied. It isn’t about me being proud, it is about trying to help others and my loved ones. People should feel welcomed, warm, and fulfilled.

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