Takeaway business owners say ‘time to go’

Takeaways takeover . . . Maori Hill Takeaways former owners Chingwah (left) and Alice Cheung (second from left) and new owners Jimmy Huang and Cindy Zhu. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A Dunedin couple has wrapped up a nearly 33-year career serving takeaways.

Chingwah Cheung opened Maori Hill Takeaways in a block of shops at 575 Highgate in May 1987.

The following year, his wife Alice began working in the shop.

The business moved next door to its current premises at 573 Highgate about seven years ago but the couple’s snap decision to retire came after an unexpected proposition, Mr Cheung said.

“A good young couple knocked on the front door and asked me ‘do you want to sell?’ and I talked to my wife and we decided it was time to go.”

The business was sold as a going concern to couple Jimmy Huang and Cindy Zhu.

The business changed hands last week.

Mr Cheung said the couple’s first priority in retirement was to tour the South and North Islands.

The couple had no fixed travel itinerary, he said.

“We are going to jump in a car and just go wherever.”

Planning holidays had been difficult when they owned the business, which was open every day of the week for up to 13 hours a day.

“After all this time we have decided it is the right time for us to retire and enjoy our time with family and friends.”

They had raised three daughters and their first grandchild, Henry, was born on New Year’s Day this year.

Mr Cheung said they had enjoyed being able to see many children who were customers in their shop grow into adults.

“Some of the children finish school, go to university, live in other countries but when they return home they visit to make sure the takeaway is still here – they are good people from friendly families.”

Mrs Cheung said she was enjoying her retirement and having time to relax and enjoy pastimes such as aqua jogging.

She would miss working in Maori Hill.

“It’s sad . . . It’s a nice area with nice people.”

The couple thanked everyone who had supported them over the years and they hoped the support would continue for the new owners.

Mr Huang said he formerly worked as a chef at restaurant Chopsticks 101 in central Dunedin and Mrs Zhu worked at Dunedin specialist bedding manufacturer Ellis Fibre.

They had a 14-year-old daughter at Columba College.

The family were “thrilled” to be part of the community and have the opportunity to share their “passion for food”.