Smile Politely

Uniforms: Sophie Sun

Meet Sophie Sun, cashier and concierge of authentic Chinese food to all who visit Golden Harbor on Neil Street. She’s passionate about her job, food, and most of all people. Read on to hear about her life at Golden Harbor and see some great photos that Veronica Mullen took while following her around the restaurant for an afternoon. 

Smile Politely: What is your job, position, and length of employment?

Sophie Sun: Well, I work at the front register at Golden Harbor. I’m also in charge of our Facebook page and website. I started working here in 2013, so it’s been like 4 years now.

SP: What other jobs have you done in the past?

Sun: I worked as waitress in some other local Chinese restaurant before after I graduated from college, but I’m not very smart, haha, never really good at school or being a student, but I love food! and eating! Guess that’s one of the reasons I choose this job haha.

SP: Do you have a uniform or something you wear every day to work? What is it?

Sun: Everyone works here has their own hat (me too)! I got my special hat with my name on it, it’s really awesome! I wear it every day, and a red apron, we also got our own T-shirt (black, with Golden Harbor’s logo) but no one wears it anymore. I don’t know what happened to others but I washed mine and put it in the dryer and it shrunk— now it won’t fit me anymore so, haha (we have a red-black theme color going on here in the restaurant, red hat, red apron, giant menu on the wall, black tables/chairs, and black t-shirts).

SP: What are your duties at work?
Sun: I work at the front register, taking customers’ orders, handling phone-in orders, answer questions about our (close to 1,000) different dishes, haha. Taking care of our old and new customers and making sure everyone have a good time eating here.

Oh, and I’m also in charge of our facebook page and website. I update our Facebook daily, update our website, and whenever we add new dishes (not shown on the regular menu), I’ll make a signs wit funny memes in English so our non-Asian customers could read and understand them and order stuff off them. Our customers are my friends, I feel very comfortable around some of our old customers, I love them so much!

SP: How long are your shifts? How many hours a week do you work?

Sun: I work from Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m – 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. (we take 1.5 hour lunch break every day). 

SP: How would you describe the job market for your position in C-U?

Sun: I don’t really know actually, haha, I’ve never work in a restaurant with the ordering system like ours before, to be honest, and there are so many non-Asian customers, I’d say like 80%. The Chinese restaurant I worked before, all the workers were Chinese, you don’t even need to speak English at all! But i like here better, I get to practice my English, and I made a lot of friends here (in restaurant, on Facebook), everybody is so nice!

And wow, they’ll eat anything! Duck tongues, pork livers, chicken gizzard, whole shrimp (with the shell on), duck feet, beef tripe, frog leg, even the stuff im afraid to try and I’m Asian, haha, so bravo everyone! it’s really an eye-opening experience. Many of the customers have already been to China many times, they know more about Chinese food than I do, haha, im really really impressed (sorry i think this is off-topic? Haha)!

SP: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Sun: First I wanna be a singer because I like to sing and they all look so beautiful on stage, then a lawyer, because they make a lot of money, then a teacher, because, I don’t know, I had a huge crush on one of my high school teacher and I want to be just as cool as he is, but thenIi realized i can’t handle little kids, haha, so yeah.

SP: What is the best part of your job? The worst?
Sun: The best part is… I GET TO EAT FOR FREEE! So far I’ve manged to eat like 1/10 of the entire menu (because there are so many dishes! like over 1,000!), and I always go back to my old favorites, salt pepper chicken, Chinese hot-sour soup… so I don’t have much chance to explore new things haha. I can’t really think of a worst part, if there is any.

I love my job, I love my boss, well, she’s more like a mom to me, to be honest, she takes care oI me, I take care of our customers, love is all around, we’re all a big, loving family! *blow kisses to everyone*

SP: What are some misconceptions about your job?

Sun: That im just a cashier, here to take people’s money, give them change. Well, I really, really care about each and every single one of our customers, I do my best to make sure everyone enjoy their experience dine-in with us. I’m always happy to see everyone, always happy to help, always happy to be here, work here, I am truly, truly blessed to be part of Golden Harbor family, really, I’m lucky as hell.

SP: What do you want everyone to know about your job?
Sun: That I am here to introduce real Chinese cuisine to non-Asian people (we’re not just orange chicken and beef broccoli, haha). Also, through our (uplifting) Facebook posts, to make everyone a bit happier. 

All photos by local photographer, Veronica Mullen. Check out more of her work at

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