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Pandemic brings son back to family business


Photo courtesy of Freddy Yip

Freddy celebrates the Fourth of July at his home in Bellingham in 2019.

Freddy Yip was on vacation with his family in Oakland, California in January when news of the COVID-19 virus spreading out of Wuhan, China began circulating. Yip said his family has historic ties to that region of China and followed the subject closely. When it became clear to him the virus was going to reach pandemic levels, he began working with his parents, Laney and Wamen Yip, owners of Joan Mei Restaurant, on strategies that the business could take.

It was the first time that he had ever gotten completely engrossed in all aspects of the restaurant.

"I got into it very, very fast, both...

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