Saturday 3 December 2016

Jade Garden - A Brief History


It came as a surprise in October, to all the village, to suddenly learn that Connie and family were to leave their ‘Fish and Chips’ shop and the village the following week.  With no opportunity for proper farewells, we asked Chung, their son, to give us their memorable story:-

Image from Google Street View

Jade Garden - A Brief History

In 1988 a Chinese family moved into the village to take over what was then a fish and chip shop named Gray's.  It would start as a partnership with a third party and the business was named Eton Wick Fish Bar.

They were one of the first, if not the first fully non-British family to be welcomed to the village; they were here to work hard and try to make a living in what appeared to be a suitable area.  There were local amenities nearby: schools for their children and, more importantly, plenty of people who were interested in eating Chinese food.  Business was good, with people becoming more accepting, helped by the fact the children spoke English (and the food was good).  In 1994, the business partner was bought out and the shop was renamed Jade Garden.

For the next 22 years, Connie, Kevin and Chung (and a few different chefs) would serve the village and surrounding area with a warm welcome and smiles on their faces.  Families would move out, new families move in, older folk pass on, but Jade Garden, commonly known as Connie's, would remain part of the village.  Different generations of the same family would buy from Jade Garden: couples would start families; their children would grow and themselves buy from the shop and they later might have families of their own and thus the cycle repeated.  

After working 60-70 hours a week for most of their working life, the time became right to sell the business and welcome a new era for Jade Garden.  The discreet announcement may have seemed quite sudden but plans had been quietly progressing for some months and it would not have been appropriate to publicise them until all was finalised.  Connie and Kevin may well have regretted not saying something sooner, as there was so little opportunity to say goodbye.  Rest assured, all customers/villagers/friends will be fondly remembered, especially by Connie with her exceptional memory for faces and names.

Connie and Kevin will be spending their years of retirement in their country of birth, Hong Kong; and their large family will certainly keep them occupied.  Nevertheless, they have promised to visit the UK when they can, so maybe some of you will get to see them again some day.  

From the bottom of their hearts, the family thanks everyone who has ever supported their business over the years and made it such a success.  

Chung (Connie's son)

We heartily thank Connie, Kevin and Chung for all they meant to our community during their twenty-eight years here; and we do sincerely wish them all good health and happiness in their ‘going home’.  We also wish Jenny and her team every success in Eton Wick and may they be here at least as long as dear Connie.

Eton Wick History Group

This article first appeared in the December 2016 issue of Our Village, the Eton Wick newsletter. Our Village is published three times a year by the Eton Wick Village hall Committee

1 comment:

  1. In 2016 my partner and I learnt, from friends, that the owners of the Jade Garden were looking to retire. We were at that time looking to have a shop of our own. We met with Connie and agreed that we would takeover the business. We moved into the Jade Garden in late September 2016.

    As with any new venture you are never sure if you had made the right decision. Eton Wick was an area we did not know and whilst my partner, Ke and I both had experience of working in Chinese takeaways Fish and Chips was something new to us.

    Connie was a great help to us when we moved in, teaching us how to cook fish and chips, that staple of the takeaway in the UK. We soon settled into life in Eton Wick, something that was made very easy by the warmth and friendliness shown to us by the villagers.

    It is now almost four years since we moved in and we do not regret for one moment our decision to move here. We now have a son, Ryan, and we can think of no nicer place to raise a family and thanks to our cutomers, business is good and so we are here for the long haul. We were asked, recently would we consider moving to a bigger shop in another area and our response was, without hesitation, no we are staying in Eton Wick.

    Jenny and Ke
    August 2020