Bamboo Garden up for sale
Time to explore new opportunitiesKAT PICKFORD
The owners of Bamboo Garden have their Maxwell Rd business on the market after 19 years of "educating" Marlborough people about Asian food.
Ikuko and Kaoru Maeshinjo own the restaurant which is managed by their son, Mutsumi Maeshinjo.
Mrs Maeshinjo said they had no plans after they sell Bamboo Garden, but they wanted to be free to explore other opportunities and spend more time with family in Japan and Perth, Australia.
They have not yet advertised the business for sale, but had received expressions of interest from people outside of Marlborough, she said.
Doing a private deal would suit the family who are committed to the ongoing success of the business and want the new owners to share their values, she said.
"It's been a very hard decision – we don't want it to go to anyone, we want our successor to be successful and want the staff to get on with the new owners too," she said.
"Until the very last day we are here we will do our best to do what we've always done."
It would take a unique person with an understanding of working in a multi-cultural environment to make the restaurant work.
Their chefs are Chinese, Thai and Japanese, who all try their best to communicate in English and communications can get very interesting during peak times at the restaurant.
They are proud of being at the forefront of introducing Marlburians to Asian flavours, she said.
"In 1994 when we first made sushi, people said, 'ew, why would we eat seaweed?' and when we first introduced Thai food, even a little bit of spice was too spicy. "Now people want more and more spice ... we like to think we have been educating people."
Winning over people's taste buds was only one of the challenges they have overcome.
In 2007 the original building on the site, believed to have been between 100 and 120 years old, burned down after the contents of the clothes dryer spontaneously ignited.
It took just over two years to re-build on the same site and during that time they opened a takeaway outlet on High St to keep their staff in employment.
This year is the Bamboo Garden's 30th anniversary and the Maeshinjo family want to have a big birthday party before they hand over the reins.
The restaurant was started up by the owner of Bing's Motels, Graham Bing, and managed by his oldest son, Burns Bing in 1982.
- The Marlborough Express