Owner: Kathy Tang
Business: Lotus Garden
Address: 3216 Mission St.
Category: Restaurant
Type: Vietnamese

What gave you the Idea to start your own business?
My husband was just laid off from his job and I was working at Kaiser. I told my husband why not learn how to cook? So he started working at my sister’s restaurant. He later said, “Kathy, I want to open my own restaurant,” and I said OK. I as still working at Kaiser and would come at night to work here. I would do that even when I was pregnant. I then took maternity leave, but did so to help the business. We didn’t have much money and my husband wanted to open up shop in the Mission. Our first day we made $87.

What has been your experience been opening a business within the Mission District?
It’s been a rollercoaster ride. We got a Bay Guardian review and a San Francisco review.

What was your experience having a business in the Mission?
I love the Mission, I love my customers and I love serving them. When I have customers that I know come from work or for lunch, I always serve more food because I know they need it. I do it because I care about the customers that come in to enjoy the food I work hard to make. Throughout the whole time of opening up my business, I’ve raised my prices very little. I don’t want to be rich or overcharge my customers: What I want is an honest business where customers are happy about the food and I make enough to live comfortably.