Toronto firefighter starts dumpling business using great-grandma's 50-year-old recipe
The best dumplings are made using traditions passed down through generations, and one Toronto family has been selling ones they've made using a great-grandmother's recipe.
Yeh's Dumplings started up in 2020 as a way to kill time, but has blossomed into a popular small business.
"I often dropped off dumplings for friends and family as a way to stay connected when we couldn’t be together," Yeh's founder Nicholas Yeh tells blogTO.
"The feedback I got was immediate. Everyone loved them and I figured there was something there. I saw many of my friends and other entrepreneurs selling their own products on Instagram and jumped right in. The rest is history."
Yeh was first taught to make these dumplings by his grandmother starting when he was just five years old, and the recipe has been perfected over the course of 50 years. They've become a staple in his family's Scarborough household, where Yeh's is based.
"The project started with just myself. After I put out my first ad on Instagram, I had over 2,000 orders from the support of my family and friends," says Yeh.
"From that moment on I had to expand and enlist the help of my family. My mother, father and sister are now all involved in the production and delivery of Yeh’s Dumplings and serving customers all over the GTA."
Yeh definitely needs the assistance as he is actually a full-time firefighter, and everyone pitches in on the side: his father is semi-retired from running his own tech business, but his mother and sister who help him also work full-time.
"We make the dumplings in our own kitchen throughout the entire process," says Yeh. "We prep, hand-fold the dumplings and package them in our kitchen as a family."
They try to keep a good stock of dumplings, but Yeh says they still sell out "all the time" and that their dumplings were in high demand at the height of lockdowns.
Their dumplings come in pork and shrimp, lobster, curry and vegetarian varieties (starting at $15 for an order of 25), and they also sell noodles ($5) and chili oil ($15). You can order online for pickup, or for a $5 or $10 fee, for delivery to certain areas. They arrive frozen and can be prepared in about 10 minutes.
"We certainly have big plans for the business. It started as a hobby and now is a small family business and maybe something bigger in the near future. We now sell Yeh's Dumplings to multiple restaurants within the GTA such as Azyun in Markham and Hong Shing in Toronto," says Yeh.
"Hopefully we can continue that momentum and scale the business up to eventually supply grocery stores, restaurants and GTA families. We also continue to innovate and bring in new flavours and sauces. The chili oil is a fan favourite."
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