Back in the 80’s, our dad was in a refugee camp waiting to go where everyone wanted to go – America.
Despite the uncertain circumstances, he saw an opportunity to do something with his time and the little money he had. With 2kg of dough left over from a previous failed attempt at selling steamed pork buns, dad decided to make a simple fried snack.
As providence would have it, the tent got too hot with all the frying and being a man who never let his situation defeat him, dad found a way to set up outside and continue his new found venture. Before long, a crowd had gathered around him and his friend as they performed for their audience.
The crowd loved seeing the ropes of dough twist around each other as dad twirled them between his fngers and then popped them into the wok. As they rose to the surface they expanded in size and turned a mouth-watering golden brown.
He couldn’t make them fast enough. His donut twists were a hit in the camp. Dad ended up making a profit ten times the amount he started out with. And with that he was able to support his mother, his wife and his five children for the rest of the time we remained at the refugee camp in Thailand.
His can-do spirit seemed to constantly attract good fortune to his side. It certainly explains how we ended up in this blessed lucky country.
While waiting in the camp, not many had heard of Australia. Everyone wanted to go to America, the land of opportunity. And we were no exception. Until dad was fatefully interviewed by an Australian authority.
While the Americans had a fair, methodical procedure to process the applications for entry, the Australian authorities seemed to operate out of an erratic, unpredictable manner. They were politically incorrect, and dad liked that about them. They cared more about genuine answers to their questions rather than answers that sounded right.
At the time, it was the general consensus in the camp that educated people were the preferred choice for immigration. Dad knew he had no qualifications or proper skills, but he was willing to gamble that the Australians might just let him through for other reasons.
So when the authorities asked him what he thought he could contribute to the Australian economy, he boldly replied, “ I can cook, and make snacks.”
And would you believe it, they let him through.
Yes, our dad is an enigma. He is an ideas man, full of drive and ambition, creative and entrepreneurial, pragmatic and even opportunistic, you might say.
But it is because of who he is and the choices he made that has laid the foundations on which Red Jade Australia stands so strongly and proudly today.
Thanks Dad, you did great!
Today, over 40 years since Red Jade began, we are still using the classic recipes that were handed down to dad from his father. In all this time, our passion to make Asian sweets and snacks using fresh, local ingredients has not changed. Neither has our commitment to quality.
The only thing that has changed is the size of our facilities, our national reach and the automation of many of our processes.
Today and every day, more Australians fall in love with Red Jade’s unique product range. We supply our ubiquitous Golden Bread to Australia’s top restaurants including Melbourne’s Secret Kitchen, China Bar and Kitchen republic.
Our crunchy brittle range can be found at all participating asian grocers.
When September arrives, our locally produced, traditional, oven baked moon cakes are the gift of choice for seasoned and local customers. Be sure to revisit us then!
The typical response from kids born into a family business is often to try to get as far away as possible. Richard was no exception.
He travelled overseas, did a two year stint in another line of work with a view to setting up his own career.
However, he soon felt something was missing. This led him to help out in the family business with his brother. It was during this time that he finally found himself happy and at peace.
Richard enrolled in the William Angliss Food Technology course and attended international food exhibitions. Over the next few years, he also completed short courses overseas in Asian confectionery and snacks.
Richard inherited our father’s tenacity. Dad’s incredible achievements were accomplished with very little education. He would simply look at a problem situation and devise his own maverick way of fixing it.
Richard has taken the products that Dad created by hand and lifted the bar in terms of creating more consistency and greater volume via automation. In addition, with a degree in Business & Asian Studies and a background in Food Technology, Richard’s love of tinkering means our products continue to evolve to meet the demands of today’s market.
While her brothers manage the production line, Sasha is our customer’s best friend. She is the first person new stockists speak with, and the friendly voice that helps every Red Jade customer.
Her skills do not end with helping customers. As a qualified Graphic Designer, Sasha liaises with other creative professionals to effectively manage the continual evolution of the brand and packaging.
He has been part of the business right from the beginning, working alongside his Father. Today, Nathan manages the daily running of our modern production facilities.
Because he helped design the facilities with our Father, he knows how everything works. This enables Nathan to excel at managing production schedules and successful deliveries of every order.
Nathan often likes to say that he is the steel and Richard is the magic.
Everyone at Red Jade shares our passion for making the freshest, tastiest products. We all work together to deliver our orders to restaurants, grocers, and individual customers right around Australia.