Finding home in hotpot capital

By TAN YINGZI and DENG RUI in Chongqing |
China Every day |
Updated: 2022-05-05 09:34

Alison Lee would make espresso at her espresso store, Cafe It, in Chongqing. [Photo by DENG RUI/CHINA DAILY]

Sidetracked by pandemic, Hong Kong entrepreneur brews a new potential building coffee for Chongqing

A loft-fashion cafe on Luzumiao Street, a centennial road in downtown Chongqing, has come to be a very hot location for city dwellers and travellers of late for its present day layout and economical coffee.

Cafe It, the 60-sq.-meter espresso shop, has 6 distinct CD players adorning its partitions and can seat about a dozen customers.

With her adventurous spirit, owner Alison Lee from Hong Kong has lastly been capable to realize her dream of being an entrepreneur in the southwestern metropolis.

Born in Hong Kong in 1985, Lee had been performing in product growth in the catering industry following graduating from Sydney’s Macquarie University in 2008.

Invited by a university mate who advised they operate alongside one another on a startup as element of a group of 10 young business people, Lee stop her career in Hong Kong and arrived to Chongqing in 2019.

“I knew almost nothing about the position apart from its popularity for hotpot just before I came,” she stated. “I was amazed to see that this inland municipality has produced so nicely and so speedy.”

Located on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Chongqing, which is about the sizing of Austria, is the fourth municipality straight below central authorities administration, alongside one another with Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

With a inhabitants of about 30 million folks and known for its industrial might, it is also a gateway to inland China and a warm financial investment spot.

Just as the team was about to start off their enterprise in early 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic broke out. All the other users returned to Hong Kong, but Lee selected to stay and give items a try.

“Of all areas in the entire world to start off a company, I required someplace on the mainland.”

She felt that a new initially-tier city like Chongqing may be just the area to open a store with a reasonable rent and minimal labor value. Additional set up very first-tier cities these kinds of as Beijing and Shanghai are much more like Hong Kong, with superior rents and salaries.

In September, Lee opened her espresso store. She reported the CDs decorating the partitions are hers and are intended to make the put feel additional like home.

“Consuming espresso is not an extravagance, it is really just the exact as us Chinese consuming tea,” Lee claimed, adding that it is her dream to serve cost-effective espresso to every person.

Barbara G. Arnold

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