Rice cookers heartening the homesick
With shelves of eye-catching rice cookers and hyper-specialised bubble tea cups, Star Chef Equipment is the bridge back home for many in the City of Logan’s East Asian community.
A first-generation Australian, businessowner Nelson Hung inherited the family business and the traditional Asian values that underpin his success.
His approach to business is distinctly collectivist, an element of East Asian culture that places a premium on duty, community, and connections to society.
“My parents initially started this business because they noticed how people struggled to source things to make Chinese food for their families or businesses.”— Nelson Hung
‘Things really took off when I took the time to build relationships with local businesses,’ Nelson says.
‘The people I work with aren’t just customers and clients – they all get my personal number and can text me whenever about anything, not just about their orders.
‘People call me at 8 pm and I’ll pick up because it’s not just a business relationship.’
Initially a haven for recent immigrants who struggled with English, an increasing number of Australians are now visiting his store.
Star Chef’s success as a supplier of commercial cooking equipment is a testament to the growing popularity of traditional Asian cuisine.
‘We stock everything you need to make authentic Asian food,’ Nelson says.
‘When you use the right pots and pans, you understand the cuisine and culture on a different level because you’re making the food in a time-honoured way.’
Although the store has recently expanded, shelves are already jam-packed with Chinese soup ladles, woven yum cha baskets and other ubiquitous components of the Asian dining experience.
‘My parents initially started this business because they noticed how people struggled to source things to make Chinese food for their families or businesses,’ Nelson says.
‘Many of them didn’t speak English and we were that connection to home.
‘Our goal has always been to be good citizens in this community and help people call Australia home.’
Star Chef also sponsors the Cornubia-based sports non-profit, Brisbane South Basketball League.
‘It’s the least I can do for a community that helped my parents settle here decades ago,’ Nelson says.
Star Chef Equipment is located on Unit 14/157 North Road, Woodridge 4114.