Every meal served at his “gourmet express” restaurant at 12 Cedar Street in Summerside, is an excuse to get together and celebrate life.
Lin purchased the century-old home with a view of the water, originally owned by the MacNeil family, after seeing its potential in May 2013.
A full 15 months were dedicated to making it suit his purpose.
“It was not a simple project,” said Lin, who spent $130,000 in renovations. “I knew it would be hard work, but I was determined to make it happen. And I did most of the renovations to make it a success.”
Community has played a big part in his business philosophy, not just focussing on the four months of tourism. Lin made connections with local residents and noted it will be hard for him to say goodbye.
“My first priority is the customers, my employees, and my family. They are all good people,” he said.
The idea to put the business up for sale developed after a recent trip to Europe, with his wife.
“I was attracted to Copenhagen in Denmark because it looks similar to my original hometown in Xiamen, in China’s Fujian province,” he explained. “The restaurant can be demanding work, especially during tourist season, and I think in five years it will be too much for me.”
He added, “For a long time now I wanted to complete a Master’s Degree in International Tourism, and then follow that up with a two-year PhD. It’s a change from the restaurant scene, but this is my other passion.”
Lin has been accepted into the University of Copenhagen.
His restaurant, Lin's Gourmet Express, will remain open this year. He credits the staff at city hall for convincing him to open here and encourages more businesses to settle in Summerside.
“The rules by the city are put there to keep up standards. I did not take any shortcuts. I did my research and microeconomics of business, and that’s what made my restaurant successful."
He concluded, “This is a great city, and you can run a successful business here.”
Lin hopes to sell his restaurant to a “family” who will continue to serve and connect with the locals. He also offers his services once the sale goes through to make it a smooth transition.