Rhode Island Accent

I’m back! Don’t worry, I wouldn’t forget about you! We have been very busy behind the scenes preparing ourselves for the return of our chefs, Jhonny and Gerry, from China and for the hard work of opening up our first locations. While I decided not to document my paperwork and phone calls online, we recently had a visitor worth writing about, so the blog is back in action!

During the past two weeks Rosamond and I were lucky enough to play host to Tom Tong right here in Massachusetts and Rhode Island! With stores still opening at lightning pace in China (look for our next location in the historic French Concession neighborhood of Shanghai), two weeks was a long time for Tom to be abroad.

(1)St. Ignatius Church in the French Concession, Shanghai

We made every minute count by cramming in as many meetings, site visits and tastings as possible. I am tempted to show a picture of Tom comparing his height to some very large frozen meat cuts during one of our stops… but I’ll refrain. Tom powered through 13-hour jetlag, and endured my hardly functional Chinese skills to make the trip a success and move us closer to our goal of opening up our first American store.

During this trip we spent a considerable amount of time at Hope & Main in Warren, RI getting to know the team better and plotting out the first steps in American Bao making. While in Warren, we attended several dinners – all delicious.

Hope & Main even hosted a dinner and demonstration by Chef Eli Dunn from Eli’s Kitchen. We were also invited to Simone’s, which was made even more special by the addition of our guest Arlene Violet – author, radio personality, and first female State Attorney General in America.

Almost as captivating as our company were the various craft works we were able to see while in Warren. We visited Warren Chair Co. at O&G Studio to select locally hand-crafted furniture,

and even toured The world class Weinberg Glass studio and gallery that employs a unique molding process and high quality optical crystal – This is where any chance of translation was lost in a flurry of hand gestures and half-sentences as I tried to explain how the chemical process of fusing crystal to metal surfacing with controlled oxidation worked.

As we get back to the grind this week on permitting, licensing and mounds of job applications, I am more confident than ever that we have a real success on our hands. Even more so now that I am able to announce a new team member in our group! I would like to welcome Mike Colabella to the team, and wish him luck on his fast approaching trip to China. I know you’re up for the challenge, and hopefully you will cross paths with Jhonny and Gerry before their return from China on January 12th!

Do you love baobao? Do you have access to the internet (I know you do) and ability to type your own name? Then you can help us out by signing our petition to help us show public support and interest in our Harvard Square location in Cambridge, MA!

Thank you all for your support and for reading along.

Also, as special thanks to Lisa, Waterman, Ali, Luca, Betsy, Jason, Bleu, and the rest of our friends in Warren for being such amazing hosts and helping us every step of the way!

Tom at CIA
Tom on his visit to the Culinary Institute of America




  1. French-Concession-42740. Digital image. Expedia.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <https://www.expedia.com/French-Concession-Shanghai.d6049917.Vacation-Attraction&gt;.




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