Joe and Chantel Yeung are the father and daughter behind tasty brand Chubby Dumpling. Growing up in Joe’s Chinese restaurant, and helping to prepare food and serve customers, Chantel was always a fan of Joe’s dumplings, so much so that he affectionately nicknamed her Little Chubby Dumpling. After 31 years in the restaurant business, Joe retired and started making dumplings in his spare time. Making too many for them to eat, Chantel convinced Jo to come out of retirement and start Chubby Dumpling with her. Normally working out of their van, Joe and Chantel launched a home delivery service as a result of the pandemic. Now sharing their amazing dumplings even wider, we couldn’t be happier. We spoke to Chantel about being a dad and daughter team and how the pandemic has affected their business.
We love your name! Did you always know that you would call the business Chubby Dumpling?
Thank you! It sort of happened accidentally. Dad used to call me a chubby dumpling as a kid when I ate all the dumplings so it seemed fitted to call the van the same.
You’re a Dad and daughter team, and you grew up working in your Dad’s Chinese restaurant. When did you decide to go into business together?
Dad retired from his restaurant a few years ago and started making loads of dumplings with his time. He got really obsessed and would give me so many it was actually too much to eat! I knew his dumplings were great and that everyone else would love them too, so we decided to start the van together. He wanted to work but couldn’t continue with the full time restaurant he had for 31 years as it was too much, so street food seemed like a good option to have the balance.
How do you find working as business partners?
I’m very lucky because he’s worked in hospitality since he was a kid, so having a business partner with so much experience is kind of perfect. He also cares more than anyone else would so it’s great!
Do you always agree, or do you have different ways of thinking and working?
So far, we’ve only been going 2 years, we’ve been very lucky and seem to agree. We have different roles in the business so we tend to stick to them.
What lessons have you learnt along the way?
So many! Generally every day you seem to learn something, realise something works or doesn’t and try to improve constantly.
How has Covid affected Chubby Dumpling?
Massively. We haven’t had our normal weekday markets in a whole year now, we used to do markets for office workers’ lunches, offices which are now closed of course. We’ve been lucky to have weekend markets, when they were allowed, not at the moment, but it’s been tough.
What’s next for you?
Planning has been difficult since Covid as you can’t seem to predict what will happen. For this year we are just hoping to be able to trade again, to be able to do more markets, some festivals and events!