Jul 05, 2016

    China firm eyes 30 US outlets to sell bao


    AMERICANS have been licking their lips over the Chinese crepe, or jianbing, and now another savoury Chinese food - the baozi, or bao or stuffed bun - is about to follow suit.

    As reported by Qianjiang Evening News, Tom's BaoBao will open its first chain store at Harvard Square this month and is sure to attract business from nearby universities, including Harvard.

    "Our target customers are American citizens and students, rather than Chinese visitors, because university students are more open-minded to alien cultures and their foods," said Gao Jun, deputy manager of Hangzhou food company Ganqishi.

    "We plan to offer our classic juicy meat baozi, and curry beef baozi. Other than that, we will offer baozi suited for Americans' taste, with fillings varying from chicken to shrimp," he added.

    The Harvard Square store is the company's first in the United States market.

    It plans to open 30 outlets in the US over the next three to five years.

    As the biggest baozi restaurant in Hangzhou, Ganqishi sells more than 200,000 baozi in its more than 170 chain stores every day.

    In addition, Hangzhou baozi has also already made a successful debut overseas, suggesting the traditional Chinese food can be profitable in the US.

    Panda Baozi - a smaller baozi restaurant in Hangzhou - opened a store in Dubai in May and instantly became a hit.

    "We open from noon to midnight, and offer only 1,000 pan-fried baozi every day - they are always sold out in a few hours," said Xiao Cui, co-owner of Panda Baozi.

    In an interview with Hangzhou Daily in May, Ganqishi founder Tong Qihua said he spent four years thinking about and learning how to make standard baozi that would be welcomed by all.

    For example, the dough "has to be of the same weight and quality to ensure that a basket of baozi have equally good taste and nutrition", he said.