The Triad’s getting a brand new place – or PLACES! – to gnosh, and it’s right here in High Point! Stock+Grain Assembly, the new food hall, is bringing all types of cuisine to our city! And behind each of the yummy spots to grab a drink, a dish, or a dessert, are new neighbors who want to leave their mark on High Point. We want to introduce you to each and every person behind Stock+Grain’s new restaurants so you can hear about the passion behind the palettes bringing new cuisine to HP!
Meet Yumi Sushi – High Point’s Poke Bowl, Sushi Burrito, and Boba Tea Experience!
Jessica and Hsiao Shan Chen (“Chen”), husband and wife duo, have been working in the restaurant industry for years – as Jessica puts it, “our whole lives!” In fact, the duo met when they were both working in a restaurant.
“My first day working was her first day working,” Chen says, as the two remember the days they spent in restaurants together. Jessica, originally from Sacramento, CA, has lived in Greensboro for the last 20 some odd years. Chen, who was born in China before moving to Taiwan and eventually New York, has worked in restaurants internationally, honing his craft for the sushi culinary arts. When Chen got a job in Greensboro, he met Jessica.
“And then I made him stay here,” Jessica teases.
After marrying and giving birth to their daughter, who is now 2-years-old, the pair felt that they could take their love of food to the next level by opening their own space.
“We felt confident we had enough experience in the field with the food and customer service that we could successfully run our own business,” Jessica explains. Chen agrees, noting that working for another person’s business limited the freedom and success they could achieve.
“No matter how much time you put into your work, it’s for another person,” he explains. “When you work for yourself, you change your future.”
They decided they wanted to take what they knew best and make it even better: sushi. And as the two looked for a spot that would be the location for the first chapter of their business, they made the decision that Greensboro already had too many restaurants doing what they wanted to do, but High Point would be a great place to bring this new kind of dining experience.
“We saw the potential in High Point,” Jessica says. Eventually, she found information about a food hall coming to High Point, and began to research the company and the developers, Elliot Sidewalk Communities.
“We saw their concept and their vision, and thought this is something we want to get in the ground floor opportunity with,” she says. “We wanted to be part of the growth of High Point.”
And already, Jessica and Chen are growing the High Point palette with the delicious dishes they are serving up at their restaurant, Yumi Sushi.
“We make bowls, rolls, and burritos,” Jessica explains. While their sushi rolls rival any upscale restaurant’s, their poke bowls and sushi burritos make the same quality ingredients more transportable. Poke bowls are a dish that deconstructs the traditional elements in sushi – rice, fresh fish, and vegetables – into a convenient bowl format.
“I tried everything in the restaurants,” Chen says, so he had already developed much of what went into Yumi Sushi’s menu. But the next thing they wanted to add to Yumi Sushi’s line up was boba tea. To capture the essence of the best boba, Jessica traveled to California to learn about innovative ways to make their milk and fruit teas. And Jessica and Chen committed to every ingredient they serve being as fresh and as premium as possible.
They skip the powders and flavorings found in many boba teas, and instead opt for real fruit and teas to create their creative and unique drinks, like their Magic Fruit Lemonades and Brûlée Lattes. Not only that, but Jessica and Chen have developed a line of what they jokingly call, “boozy boba.” Made with premium sake, their boba cocktails make “Yumi Sushi after hours” even more tasty! Not to mention, everything on the Yumi Sushi menu is as beautiful as it is delicious.
That choice is an intentional part of the restaurant’s vision. The word, “Yumi,” refers to the concepts of elegance, gracefulness, and beauty in Japanese.
“That’s what we want to showcase through our food,” Jessica says. “Food is not just to eat; it’s to enjoy with your eyes before you enjoy it with your palette. We want everything we make to taste as good as it looks and look as good as it tastes!”
“We’re not just making the food for the customers,” Chen agrees. “We’re providing a service to make our customers happy.”
“Food is not just to eat; it’s to enjoy with your eyes before you enjoy it with your palette."
Jessica Chen, Co-owner of Yumi Sushi
Because for Jessica and Chen, food has always made them happy. It is what brought them to each other to start their own family, and now, their own business here in High Point. And while Jessica and Chen already have plans to keep expanding and growing their business, they are excited now to start serving the High Point community with their passion for food. They see each step of the process as an achievement, and now, an opportunity to bring what they love to High Point.
“Everything is an accomplishment,” Chen says of the process of opening Yumi Sushi. “From the time we signed the lease, to working with the contractor... Every step is an accomplishment. I’m an immigrant, so to come to this country and now have my own house, my baby, my wife, and now to have my first restaurant – I think that’s a big accomplishment.”
Discover our High Points,
The HPD Team