Monday, 11 October 2010

People in love with Taitung

David is a finance guy who works in New Jersey, USA. After his wife passed away, he decided to start a juice business in his hometown of Taitung so that more people, starting with the people of Taitung, can be healthier by way of his juice mixes. He uses mainly local fruits and vegetables, washes them with water from a very expensive filtration system. An order of juice that he sells for TWD30 would go for almost TWD100 in Taipei. Yes, prices in Taitung are lower, but not that much lower. His raw material cost per cup is nearly the same as what he charges his customers. People say he's not in it to make money, but hopes to survive. I hope he survives and makes enough money to come to Taipei and open lots of branches. He set up shop in Taitung two months ago, trained someone to hold the fort, and now has to go back to NJ to his other job. We were really lucky Saturday to have met him and tried his grape/pineapple/kiwi/passion fruit concoction. It was really good. He doesn't filter out the pulp, so you get all the fiber and nutrition from the seeds. So it was very healthy too. This drink was TWD70. Go David! Please make this business work and come to Taipei!

Hao Kang
#333 Zhongshan Road, Taitung City
+886 89 341 648

A-jie is a baker from Taipei. He and his wife traveled to Taitung once, fell in love with the pace of life in the area, so decided to close the family bakery and move down there. They opened a restaurant in Taitung City and named it "愛上台東," meaning "in love with Taitung." The name sounds more than a little corny, but Taiwanese people would call that "cute." While A-jie cooks, his wife takes care of their two girls and they take family holidays as often as possible, not afraid to close shop to take time off. They put pictures and paraphernalia of places they've traveled to on the restaurant wall. Before his eldest daughter started kindergarten, he mapped out all the kindergartens in the city and visited each and every one of them on his time off during the day. People joke that he can publish a "Taitung kindergarten walkabout guide." Also on the wall of the restaurant are pamphlets to nearby restaurants, B&B's and tourist spots. I asked him why he's spending time and energy that he hardly has left over to show people the way to his competition. A-jie said he loves Taitung and wants to let people why he thinks it's so wonderful, and in turn, hopefully they'll spend money and keep the place and its businesses alive. A-jie's pizzas and desserts are definitely above the local average, and the price is quite reasonable. I estimate the average cheque to be less than TWD200.

In addition to how passionately he speaks, A-jie's dark eye circles and eye bags tell me that he is working really hard and sacrificing his health to afford his life of ideals - being able to spend quality time with family and live in southeastern Taiwan where the pace of life is slow and everything is covered in sunshine.

A-jie, please keep going and share this passion for life you have with more people! Please also quickly get your staff up to speed so you don't keep ending up in the hospital for fatigue-related problems.

Fall in love with Taitung
Xinsheng Road #344, Taitung City
+886 89 346 999


David said...

Wonderful post Michella. It really conveys the passion that these people have put into their businesses and life in Taitung.

翁郁容 Michella Jade Weng ミシェラ・オング said...

Thanks, David. :)

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing :)

From lovelytaiwan Carol

翁郁容 Michella Jade Weng ミシェラ・オング said...

Thanks for introducing these people to us. And thanks for helping them out too.