One of the ways KHOU 11 News is celebrating AAPI Heritage Month by highlighting Asian-owned businesses across our area.
Malia’s Hula Hut: "Hula is a form of language"
For Bernadette Staples and her family, hula is life.
"Hula is a form of language that was used prior to written language in Hawaii so they can tell the story of the land and the people,” Staples said. “And through your hand motion, you tell stories whether it's with the ocean, or up in the mountains, or when you are speaking to others, or the sound of the islands.”
The family, originally from American Samoa, opened Malia’s Hula Hut in Houston more than 15 years ago.
"We provide Polynesian dance entertainment for special occasions luau, backyard graduation parties so bring the islands to you," Staples said.
Shaolin Temple Cultural Center: “It means hard work”
Kung Fu has long been a popular martial art. Master Shi Yan Chan trained at the Shaolin Temple nestled on a mountainside in China.
Chan endured rigorous daily physical and mental training from age 5 to 19 at the monastery.
For the last 20 years, he's been teaching in Houston -- athletics, performance, self-defense and competitions -- at the Shaolin Temple Cultural Center.
“It means hard work,” student Anthony Lim said. “Putting effort toward something and achieving expertise and mastery in it.”
The cultural expression, the martial expression of real Chinese culture through an artistic movement steeped in an ancient tradition.
Tokyo Gardens Catering: It's not your father's sushi
It's not your father's sushi. Well, actually…
“My mother and father started (their) first Japanese restaurant in Texas in 1963 up in Dallas.” Glen Gondo said. “Here in Houston in 1965.”
Back in 1960, Japanese culture was hardly here in Texas. Today, Gondo is the president of Tokyo Gardens Catering.
People have become quite aware of Asian food, including at H-E-B. The first sushiya bar went into the Friendswood store 22 years ago.
I was apprehensive (about) a sushi bar in a grocery store,” Gondo said. “When it first opened up, I couldn’t believe (it).”
Today, his son, Robert, works for the company and they have some 400 sushi bars, catering to colleges, hospitals, corporations and more.
weMed Clinics: "I believe I was put on this earth to serve."
weMed Clinics combine ancient Chinese healing techniques like acupuncture with modern medicine. Bing You is the director and founder.
“My goal is to help our patients with acupuncture, herbal medicine, meditation, exercise is to help them reach the best health possible and help them reduce as many medications as possible," You said.
"I had asthma -- notice the past tense -- that I was taking a lot of medications for,” patient Margaret Shelton said. "The acupuncture and herbal medicines and I think just the general care that exhibited by all the people here made a huge difference.
More AAPI-owned businesses across Houston
If you know of an Asian-owned business across the Houston area that you would like us to spotlight, email email@example.com.