Jade Inn reaches sil­ver

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUS BUSINESS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

NOT many busi­nesses in Port Dou­glas can say they have been open for 25 years - let alone with the same owner in the heart of Macrossan St.

Jade Inn Chi­nese restau­rant first opened its doors as a take­away in the lo­ca­tion where EJ’s fish and chip shop used to be, on the cor­ner of Macrossan and Grant St.

Owner Tony Lo started cook­ing in Hong Kong when he was 15, be­fore mov­ing to Cairns with his brother to pur­sue mar­tial arts.

Mr Lo’s pas­sion for cook­ing helped him find his Malaysian-born wife Karen and de­ter­mine his fu­ture, not as a mar­tial artist but rather a chef, ac­cord­ing to his son Ka.

“My Aun­tie Sue loved my dad’s cook­ing and told my dad her younger sis­ter Karen was com­ing to Aus­tralia and he had to take her out,” he said.

“Mum and dad met in Cairns and they moved to Port Dou­glas, dur­ing that time the con­struc­tion of the Sher­a­ton hap­pened and there were a lot of clien­tele and only two places to get food.

“We be­came favourites and have been serv­ing for 25 years.

“We’ve been through the pi­lot strike and sur­vived count­less cy­clones.”

With the need for big­ger premises, Jade Inn re­lo­cated to 49 Macrossan St with the help of Karen’s sis­ter and brother-in-law Sue and Peter Green.

“The sup­port of the lo­cals keeps us go­ing,” Ka said.

“The high­light has been see­ing kids we used to serve turn into par­ents with fam­i­lies and also cus­tomers from over­seas and in­ter­state.

“One cou­ple come here ev­ery pub­lic hol­i­day and eat in the restau­rant three nights.”

Mr Lo said the rea­son be­hind the success of Jade Inn has been a com­bi­na­tion of his dad’s pas­sion for cook­ing and his mum’s hard work ethic.

“Dad’s pas­sion for food is why the food we put out is good and also us­ing real in­gre­di­ents and pro­duce like honey from the Tablelands,” he said.

“It makes a dif­fer­ence us­ing local pro­duce and mak­ing ev­ery­thing homemade - it’s im­por­tant for us and our rep­u­ta­tion.”

Karen Lo said the se­cret be­hind a suc­cess­ful busi­ness is keep­ing on top of rent and all ac­counts and keep­ing the cus­tomers happy, which in turn keeps her happy.

“When I come to work I never get tired be­cause of the cus­tomers and the day passes re­ally quick, that’s why I can still laugh and smile when work­ing ev­ery week,” she said.

The Jade Inn will cel­e­brate with a big birthday ban­quet on Satur­day night.


Still go­ing strong: Tony and Karen Lo

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