Nhan Lu: Sharing Food and Community
Nhan Lu is a woman of many talents.
The owner of Pacific Café at 10874 97 Street, she is a businesswoman, cook, caterer, teacher, and dedicated community volunteer.
Originally from Vietnam, Nhan moved to Canada with her husband and son in 1978. Her son was three at the time, and her daughter was born in Canada.
The Lu family first moved to McCauley in 1983, in the Little Italy area. Her son attended Alex Taylor School. Although the family moved to Millwoods in the 90s, Nhan stayed connected to the community as she owned a different restaurant in Chinatown that she bought in the mid-90s.
In 2000, when both of her children had finished high school, she bought the Pacific Café building and the family moved back to McCauley, living in the apartments in the building’s upper level.
Pacific Café is both a restaurant and cooking school. Nhan loves to talk about food and teach others to cook. She has also taught cooking at Metro Continuing Education since 1983.
Nhan began volunteering with Boyle McCauley News in 2011. I first met her late in the previous year because of her involvement with the McCauley Connects Coffeehouse. When the coffeehouse was first held at McCauley School, Pacific Café provided delicious snacks. When we were seeking a new venue, she offered the use of Pacific Café, which has proven to be a very successful location.
The paper was seeking a columnist from the local Asian community, and Nhan was very enthusiastic to get involved. Nhan draws from her childhood in Vietnam, as well as her love of food and the community, in each of her Pacific Notes columns.
In addition to BMC News and the coffeehouse, Nhan is also involved with the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op, Multicultural Coalition, BRZ, and Revitalization.
Of the McCauley community, Nhan says that she “enjoys the people. It’s so easy to talk with people and to share food.”
In her spare time, Nhan likes to listen to music, get together with friends to talk and sing, and read poetry. She is also an artist. Several pieces of her sculptures adorn Pacific Café, and she also makes intricate fruit sculptures for special occasions.
“I used to design jewelry,” she says. “It got too expensive, so I decided to design food instead!”
Thank you Nhan, for bringing your sense of culture and community to our paper!