The owners of Tokyo Sushi, on the corner of Glen and School streets in Glen Cove, have achieved the American Dream and because of various positive experiences they have had in this country, they offer a 25 percent discount on meals to first responders, police officers, firefighters, hospital staff and members of the military who choose to dine at their restaurant, no questions asked.
The family emigrated from China to the United States and have become successful business owners who are able to provide for themselves as well as their family members back home. Cherish Shi, who co-owns the Japanese restaurant with her brother and her husband, attributes some of her success—and her life—to the professionalism she has experienced from various first responders, police officers and hospital staff in the nine years she has been in this country.
“We are thankful for the police officers and hospital workers because we know they don’t look down upon us, they still do their service,” said Shi, who moved to the U.S. in 2006, at age 19.
Shi related a story of having an allergic reaction to something she ate in Florida, soon after she came to the country. She broke out in a rash, with swelling and difficulty breathing, at 3 a.m., and not having any type of medical insurance or knowing about 911. Her father, who didn’t speak any English, drove to the hospital—fast. On the way, they were stopped by the police. They were able to communicate that they needed to get to the hospital.
“They were helpful and led us straight to the ER, with lights flashing,” said Shi.
Upon arriving, she said the hospital staff was also very professional and treated her symptoms, without requesting payment first, as is customary in China. Ever since that first experience, she was so grateful for having her life saved and being treated with respect that she decided she wanted to do something to give back to these professionals. This feeling grew with a series of other incidents that strengthened her determination: a restaurant flood, to which firefighters responded “within seconds;” a home robbery that she said the police were helpful with getting the money back and making her feel safe.
An opportunity arose when they purchased Tokyo Sushi—formerly Fatty Fish—in November 2014. Shi’s father has owned Chinese restaurants since coming to the States, so continuing in that tradition seemed a natural fit. Her husband has years of experience working in Japanese restaurants and rolling sushi, so they decided to stick with Japanese cuisine. Owning a small business also gives her the opportunity to fulfill her personal goal of giving back to others.
“As a family, it was a new experience; to unite and work together. We would sit together and discuss our next step in creating a better restaurant for the customers. Of course, disagreements would arise, however we found our own ways in compromising because we all know that we share the same goal: to achieve,” said Shi. “By opening a business, we are able to support our families, as well as provide food for the public. We’re thankful to be protected by the police officers, firefighters, military officers and aided by the medical assistants. We can clearly see that they are available 24 hours a day to provide protection and safety. Although it may not be much, we provide discounts of at least 25 percent for officers in return for their service. We appreciate and thank them for their hard work.”
Besides the discounts, Shi stresses the fact that all customers are treated equally at her restaurant, no matter what they order or how much money they spend; even a $5 sushi roll will be given the same attention as a more expensive specialty roll.
“We don’t look down upon any customers that come in,” clarified Betty Shi, 16, who works part time at the family business.
“I know I can’t control anyone’s mind and tell them what to do, but I am doing my best to help others,” said Cherish.
Tokyo Sushi is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 3 to 9:45 p.m. Sunday, at 2 Glen St. in Glen Cove. Visit www.tokyosushiglencove.com for the menu.