This post was written by JP Fuji Group, the Top 2016 Small Business of the Year. Hear more from JP Fuji at Nailed It: A Conversation with Successful Business Leaders this Thursday, October 6.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun’ (Eccles. 1.9, NIV).” Never has that been more true than today. Consumers have a nearly endless range of products and services to choose from at any given moment. They are increasingly looking at who companies are, rather than just what they do. When Jimmy Liang founded JP Fuji Group he held in mind the powerful mantra of his grandmother—leave every place better than it was when you found it.
After the first Fuji restaurant in Wollaston, MA opened a young girl walked into the 19-seater sushi joint asking for a donation for her High School’s booster club. Although the restaurant had only recently begun to turn a profit, Jimmy saw the child as a symbol of the community that his business was a part of. He didn’t think twice before pulling out his checkbook. Since that day, the benevolence of JP Fuji Group has only continued to grow.
Each year JP Fuji Group contributes significantly to more than fifty charities and organizations. Recently, the group participated in the SSYMCA’s Taste of South Shore to send underprivileged children to camp. Jimmy co-chaired the event, helping to successfully broaden its appeal by inviting members of the Chinese press as well as celebrity guest stars Kelly Olynyk and Taniya Nayak.
Additionally, JP Fuji Group’s Director of Operations Tony Liang has also served on the board of Quincy Asian Resources, Inc (QARI) for the past six years. Through this organization JP Fuji Group provides its employees with free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. This is a tremendously beneficial program for the back of the house employees.
In addition to offering ESL classes, JP Fuji Group is a proud participant in the Pathways to Careers program. This program helps individuals with disabilities pursue meaningful careers. In fact, after finding that one of the group’s participants was a huge fan of their restaurants, JP Fuji Group was moved to hire John Raimondi. John has worked tirelessly to one day master the highly specialized skill of sushi making at Fuji 1546 in Quincy, bringing with him a positive attitude. The company prides itself in not only training people but also opening doors for future careers.
One of JP Fuji Group’s favorite ways to give back is competing in what they know best—food. In 2015, Executive Chef Ming Cao defeated his opponents in the Quincy Community Action Programs’ (QCAP) ‘Best Chef’ competition (pictured below), making Chef Ming the first Chinese chef to win this annual Chopped-esque showdown. In the same year, his smoky concoction utilizing locally sourced ingredients also won the Kendall Square Association’s first ever ‘BYTEs’ competition. Bragging rights aside, these competitive events are the most engaging and organic way to draw large crowds to support the cause at hand.
Some of the causes and community groups that JP Fuij Group support include:
- East End House for Foster Children
- Cambridge Fire Fighters
- Somerville Police Department
- Quincy Police Department
- Domestic Violence Ended
- Boston CASA
- Asian American Civic Association
- Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
…and many more!
JP Fuji Group continues to make valiant strides to change Quincy for the better. Every effort is made to help local charities and organizations whenever possible, regardless of how large or small. The company creates numerous jobs for both the Quincy and Metro Boston communities while positively impacting the lives of their employees through the aforementioned ESL classes and many other benefits and opportunities.
Jimmy Liang believes that “giving back is more than writing a check. He sees the powerful trickle down effect, when the quality of life of employees improve, communities’ needs are met, and small businesses across those communities have a greater opportunity to flourish.”
This post is a part of a series of posts written by the 2016 Small Business of the Year honorees.