The owner of a chocolate shop in San Francisco’s Chinatown has been offering her employees kung fu lessons after work to help them combat theft and crime in the neighborhood.
Mindy Fong, the owner of Jade Chocolates Teahouse and Cafe, closed her shop at around 5 p.m. on a weekday in March to hold the first of many kung fu classes for her employees following the rise of reported robberies in the neighborhood.
Fong had reportedly moved her Asian-inspired chocolate shop from Inner Richmond to Chinatown. Although she was happy to find "a cultural home" for her shop, she was worried about the increase in crime and anti-Asian hate in the area after the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“Every day, there’s something,” Fong told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’ve seen people being chased in the street because they’ve stolen something from the jewelry shops or camera shops.”
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Fong believes the kung fu lessons can prepare her employees for any situations that would call for self-defense.
“It’s beneficial for everyone to know some self-defense,” Fong added. “I would hate for something to happen to them here just because they’ve gone to work.”
Scott McTaggert, the executive chef of Jade Chocolates, told the San Francisco Chronicle that for the last six years, he has been practicing wing tsun, a form of southern Chinese kung fu that focuses on self-defense. He has reportedly offered employees the opportunity to train at Chinatown’s San Francisco WingTsun school.
“I will do everything I can do to make our employees feel safer and more empowered, so they can live their lives without being afraid,” McTaggert was quoted as saying.
Anti-Asian hate crimes in San Francisco increased by 567 percent in 2021, according to the San Francisco Police Department. Although there have been fewer recorded incidents in Chinatown this year, crime continues to be a big issue and concern for both business owners and residents in the area.
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