Every small, family-owned business has a story. Recently, the one behind New Leaf Bistro in The Admiral District turned tragic. Less than a year and a half after opening the restaurant in the former Royal India Grill space, co-proprietors Geoffrey Ly and Shi Qiu Chen found out in December that Geoffrey had “a very aggressive cancer,” customer and friend Suzanne Krom writes. “His doctors started treatment but it quickly overwhelmed his system, and on January 29th, he died. He was only 55 years old.”
The couple has two young children, 10-year-old Angelina and 8-year-old Kelvin. Chen is now raising them alone and running the restaurant, a 17-hour-a-day job.
When Suzanne found out about Geoffrey’s death, she wanted to do something to help, something with which the community could help too. So today she launched a GoFundMe page. She writes that “the business and family are in jeopardy. Friends have rallied around her and customers who know about the loss of Geoffrey have been supportive too. But it’s not enough, which is why we have set up this GoFundMe page. Any donations of any size are welcome. We have a goal of $30,000 to help Shi Qiu pay for Geoffrey’s funeral costs. … Shi Qiu and her children will be eternally grateful for any help they receive. It will help make this tragedy something they can recover from. And it will feel like Geoffrey is indeed watching over them, making sure they are going to be okay.”
Mr. Ly’s West Seattle ties, by the way, went beyond New Leaf Bistro; as we reported when it opened, he also operated Hunan Express in Morgan Junction at the turn of the millennium. Again, if you’d like to help, the GoFundMe page is here.