Our family immigrated to the United States from
Shantou, China in the late 1970s. It was a difficult
and heartbreaking decision, but my parents decided
to leave their homeland for a more promising future
for their ten children in the United States. At the time
they made this decision, they did not speak any English
\nor understood anything about the country they were
to about to embark to. The journey began with no money,
no food and no plan; just a big dream. We arrived in the
States with nothing but the clothes on our back and the
hope for a chance to realize that dream.
Once settled, with plenty of hard work, determination and an opportunity, my family baked and sold traditional pastries, cakes, rolls and cookies to a local supermarket. Our big break came two years later when my parents invested in a donut shop. With all of their savings and money borrowed from twenty friends and family, Tai Loi Bakery, a Chinese bakery, was opened.
It was a family business in all senses and the entire family worked hard together day and night. It was difficult beyond words. Success was the only option and we worked hard to earn it, especially my mother. We operated the business for 16 years. By then, my siblings and I had graduated from college and pursued our own careers. I left the bakery as well, but my passion for food stayed close at heart. I spent some time exploring other fields only to realize my love for baking and cooking had grown stronger in time.
I attended Orange Coast College and received my Culinary Degree and was awarded a grant to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. It was there that I had the opportunity to bake and cook in first class, five star establishments such as the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort, Ritz Carlton Hotel & Resort and the Robert Mondavi Winery.
My love for food, the arts, and creativity led to the creation of XA Sweet & Savory Cafe is a family business with a personal touch. At XA, we want to create something special for every customer. We use only fresh and natural ingredients to create the best sweets & savories. Our goal is to not only satisfy our customer’s sweet tooth but also to create sweet lasting memories for their family.
The success of XA is dedicated to my mother, a woman who made countless sacrifices for her children and who have inspired me to pursue my own dream. XA was created as a legacy for my mother. Thank you mom, Mrs. To Lan.