Using my Chinese Laundries history book as a model, I wanted to recruit about a dozen people whose families had operated a family restaurant and have them write a narrative about their personal experiences. I felt that this insider perspective would be important to record, as it would reveal how immigrant families managed to survive by running their own business... this time in restaurants and cafes as opposed to laundries, as I covered in a prior book, and groceries, in another.
Fortunately I have about 12 promised narratives... from all over the US and Canada. Moreover, I got lucky, and found two talented artists, a Chinese American and a Chinese Canadian, to not only provide family cafe stories but also contribute some of their wonderful restaurant artwork. And, the Chinese American artist discovered that her sister, a noted poetress, offered to contribute some "restaurant poems:"
What an auspicious start!