The Bordertown Chinese Restrarant arecelebrating 20 years in the Tatiara on this weekends Chinese New year that sees the year of the rooster begin.
Tim and Helen Wei first came to Bordertown 20 years ago on Chinese New year with their eight month old daughter and opened the popular restaurant on Woolshed street a couple of months later.
The couple have since had another child and both kids, Jenny who is now 21 and Jake who is 8 love the country lifestyle.
The kids both went to Bordertown Schools and Jenny is now in Adelaide studying teaching and would like to return tothe country some day.
Tim who moved here when he was 25 bringing Helen across two years later said the the double occasion this year is‘double happiness’
Tim said it was very difficult when he first came over, and despite having learned englishat school he said when he came to Australia, it was totally different.
“I came here for new life, a different lifestyle and a new way to live.”
Before coming to Bordertown, Tim and Helen hada restaurant in Victoria for four years in Bunyip, which was just a little too small and did not allow room for progression.
They searched at many places across four states before checking out Bordertown last and falling in love with the community straight away.
Tim said it was their first impression that made them decide to come.
“People say hello to you on the street, and that’s very important to us.” Tim said.
“When people come to a town,the first thing they notice is the people, and how they make them feel, if they make them welcome or not.”
“Right from the start, the town has been really supportive.” Helen said.
Tim and Helen now enjoy the country lifestyle for many reasons with the Tatiara community being a huge contributor.
Their business has had ups and downs which they said fall in line with all other businesses who have been affected by issues such as the drought and the meatworks.
“The businesses all support each other. That’s how a small community works. We support each other and that is very important.”
There have been a lot of businesses come and go throughout their time here, and Helen believes that the main reasons are for personal issues, and changing locationsrather then slow business.
The couple attribute their 20 years of success to the support from the community, and the quality of their product.
“We appreciate people’ssupport in the last 20 years. Without that, we can’t survive,” said Helen.
Tim said 95 percent of their customers were regulars, which come from beyond the Tatiara, from Tintinara all the way out to Nhill.
Helen said“They come from so far away, I really hope they enjoy their meal. 80Kms is very far.”
Tim who is the chef at the restaurant said that he will never drop his standard and continuesto better his product.
“Some people get slack after a few years, and how that’s some businesses fail. But for me I’m always improving and keeping that high standard. You cant be slack, or people wont come in.”
“When I finish cooking, I come out and talk to people. That is my job. Its important to ask them how they enjoyed the meal.”
This is especially true as they saida lot of their customers are still having the same dish after 20 years.
As well as locals, Tim and Helenhave regular tourists stopping in for the food, and they use the opportunity topromote the district with their main suggestions for tourists being Poochers swamp, the white kangaroos and Claytons Farm.
“There is so much to offer, there is always something to say. I think Bordertown has a lot to offer,” Helen said.
The couple are certainly giving back to the community and havehired a lot of students from the area.
“It’s good for them to have that practice and learn something and it helps us as well. We try to teach them a lot of things, and after a couple of years they are very confident.
“We always give a good reference, and it makes it much easier for therm to find jobs if they leave the area,” Tim said.
They have family in Victoria and China, with Helen’s mum and sister coming out to visit numerous times to see them doing what they love.
“”We are very lucky that we enjoy what we are doing. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing you would find the job pretty hard,” Helen said.
For tomorrow night and throughout the weekend,there will be a number of specials at the restaurant for dine in and take away.
The couple will also be trialing some new items on the menu and have arranged complimentary dumplings and a glass of soft drink or bubbles(dine in only)and are offering 10 percent off all take away orders.
“I’ve tried to cook more traditional meals,” said Tim.
The couple said that their ‘Bordertown Deluxe’ is the most common dish and one that Tim has made up himself and is very proud of.
“We want to thank all customers for ongoing support. We couldn’t have done it without you,” they said.
To make a booking for this weekend, call8752 0494
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.