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In 2000, Jenny Sun came to the United States from Fu Zhou in the Fujian Province of China (south of Shanghai, along the coast of the East China Sea) with her husband, Deti “Tim” Hou, and his family in search of the American dream.
They found it here in Taylorsville in 2004, when they opened Legends restaurant in Settlers Center, where they serve authentic Chinese and American cuisine.
Though Hou died in 2011, Sun and her in-laws continue to keep the restaurant open, and have a loyal following.
“I need to make money,” Sun says of her choice of operating a restaurant, adding her goal is always to offer the best food for their customers.
She has a difficult time speaking English, relying on her eldest daughter, Ivy, 11, to help translate. But, Sun makes it very clear she enjoys her work. “I like cooking food for customers,” she says, offering a big smile.
Though the restaurant offers a full array of Chinese dishes, she says crab Rangoon is generally the customer favorite, along with their version of General Tso’s chicken.
The establishment provides employment for herself and her in-laws, including Hou’s mother, Julie. They rely on Julie’s own recipes, and both women share cooking duties.
The restaurant provides an income for the whole family, Sun said, and is all she has to support Ivy and her two younger children, Bonnie, 8, and Robert, 6.
Ken Thompson, a regular customer who nominated the restaurant for the Homegrown feature, said he eats at Legends about twice a week.
“I like Chinese food. I find the menu to be very, very broad, and the Chinese dishes to be very authentic,” he said. “And it’s a quiet atmosphere.”
He said he admires Sun, as well, for continuing to work so hard to raise her children and support the family since the loss of her husband.
Thompson said he hopes the community will continue to support the business because he wants to see her succeed. “She’s very brave. … And she’s doing such a good job. She’s really doing all the right things.”
Owner: Jenny Sun
Address: 109 Settlers Center Road
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday; 4-8 p.m. Wednesday
Number of employees: 2, plus various family members
In business: since 2004
Primary business: Restaurant offering Chinese and American cuisine, including a buffet and menu
Price range: Appetizers, $1.35 for egg roll to $10.95 for Pu Pu platter for two; lunch specials, $4.55 to $5.95; dinners, $7.75 to $12.95 for chef’s specialties featuring seafood.
Buffet available at lunch daily; for dinner Friday only (4:30-9 p.m.)