Sunday, January 15, 2012

Simple food top of the menu

A normal day for me begins before 5am so we can start preparing for what is usually a 12-hour working day.

My first task is to start up the ovens and begin making snacks like sandwiches and muffins. It's around 6am that we open the doors.

Our rush hour is lunchtime, traditionally 11.30am to 2pm, but the mornings can be very busy especially when everybody needs that all-important coffee before work.

My wife Ivy is the expert when it comes to the art of a good coffee so I'm usually in the kitchen out back preparing the meals.

The food we make is very straight-forward with eggs and bacon a popular choice with customers.

When I opened this business I tried to make the food fancy but quickly realised that people don't always want their breakfast or lunch to look extremely complicated. At the end of the day an egg is an egg no matter how you try to smarten it up.

I am originally from southern China where I worked as a chef in Chinese cuisine. I moved to New Zealand about 10 years ago to do a chef's course at AUT and worked at various restaurants.

It was about five years ago that we bought this lunch bar.

The one thing I enjoy about running a small business is getting to know people from all different walks of life; It just makes the job more enjoyable. We have our regulars – neighbours from nearby businesses and also the kids at the two schools who are always coming in for breakfast or lunch.

You really have to find a balance with business and friendship if you want to be happy in your job.

We have and it is great because you do feel part of a small community.

Around 2.30pm we begin the clean-up process and the shop is shut after 3.30pm.

We then go shopping and begin the preparation for the next day.

When we do get home I enjoy a quiet glass of red wine and spending valuable time with my son.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Last updated 12:00 12/01/2012

BUSY LIVES: Ivy and Vince Li operate the Get Fed lunch bar in Henderson.

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