Days Thai
By YP Contributor

Chinese Doctor Becomes Burnaby Restaurant Owner

More than two decades ago, James Shu brought his family to Canada from China. Despite a sterling resume as a doctor, James soon discovered his credentials wouldn’t transfer and the best he could do was get work as a care aide in a seniors’ centre. After almost a decade doing that job, he decided a change was in order after his hours and wages were cut.

“I took an entrepreneurship course at BCIT and then I worked with a friend for 10 months learning the restaurant industry,” said James. “I decided to open my own restaurant in 2006 and it’s been hard, but I was looking for a chance to run my own business, support my family and even provide jobs for other people to support their families.”

Days Thai now has eight employees and James’ dreams have come true: his successful business has allowed him and others to contribute in a meaningful way to Canadian society.

I just tried to keep working harder to keep my customers satisfied. To run a small business is very difficult, but if you work hard, good things can happen. - James Shu, owner
Days Thai Restaurant - Dine-in restaurant, take-out restaurant, food delivery

Word of Mouth Leads to Regular Customer Pick-ups

The Edmonds neighbourhood is known for its ethnic restaurants, but prior to Days Thai opening, the Thai options were very sparse. Once James opened, word spread quickly about his lunch specials and before he knew it, he had a steady stream of civic workers and police officers who would literally drive for miles to pick up lunch.

“I had some articles written about my restaurant and people came in to try my food. I’m very lucky that people like my food, especially our lunch special of chicken with rice, vegetables and cashew nuts,” said James. “There are some city workers who order that on a regular basis.”

James splits his time between the kitchen and greeting all his customers, many of whom have become friends.

And because there’s no job too small for James, he can often be seen doing the dishes or making the deliveries. No matter what the job, James does it with a smile on his face.

"The work has to be done and my customers appreciate it. I try to keep working harder to keep my customers satisfied. To run a small business is very difficult, but if you work hard, good things can happen."

Days Thai Restaurant - Dine-in restaurant, take-out restaurant, food delivery

A Better Life for His Family and Eight Employees

The soft-spoken former doctor has no regrets about the choices he has made because they have all turned out for the best. He gave up a safe career in China for an uncertain future in Canada, but with both his daughters now establishing their careers, James and his wife can now travel and take care of their relatives.

“I didn’t take a vacation for seven years and even when times were tough, I’d cut my shifts instead of my employees’ shifts,” said James. “So many of my employees have become my friends.”

“I’m so thankful for everything that Canada has given me. Change is hard, but if you don’t change, things can’t get better. Sometimes, you have to give up something to get something better and while people think I gave up a lot in China, I knew that what I wanted in Canada was greater for me and my family.”

So if you’re looking for some delicious Thai food served up by some good people, Days Thai Restaurant is a solid bet. Drop in to find out why their lunches are so popular, or sit down for dinner and try the tom yam soup, pad thai and green curry chicken. You’ll probably get a friendly hello from James when you do.

Days Thai Restaurant - Dine-in restaurant, take-out restaurant, food delivery
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