Community leader and restaurateur receives award in Sacramento
Assemblymember Ting presents Daisy Li, owner of Moonstar Buffet in Daly City, with the 19th Assembly District Business of the Year Award.
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) honored his 19th Assembly District Business of the Year at the “Salute to Small Business” luncheon held in conjunction with Small Business Day at the State Capitol. Daisy Li, 51, owner of Moonstar Buffet Restaurant in Daly City, traveled to Sacramento to receive her award.
“Daisy is a well-known godsend in the API and nonprofit communities in San Francisco and Daly City, and her philanthropic spirit is an inspiration to us all,” Ting said. “Her Moonstar Restaurant is a very successful enterprise and a busy hub for community events. I’m sure that Daisy has never said no to a worthy cause.”
Li was born in Hong Kong, move to Toronto and studied restaurant management at Oklahoma State. She moved to San Francisco in 1990 and opened her first restaurant in 1991.
During Li’s more than 20 years of operating restaurants in San Francisco and then Daly City, she has enjoyed continued success. With her husband and business partner Paul Ng, she pioneered an upscale version of “Asian buffet” and established Moonstar as one of the Bay Area’s most popular restaurants. She attributes her success to her management style and giving back to the community.
“We serve the needs of the people. My restaurant is a tool I can use to make money and donate to charities too. It’s a win-win for everybody,” says Li, a cancer survivor. “Even though I’m working all the time, I never feel like I’m working. That’s because I follow my passion, and that is what makes me happy.”
Be happy and enjoy your work is the advice Li gives her dedicated and loyal staff, some 70 employees many of whom have worked for her from the beginning. Li says she believes in an open-door policy and letting workers do their work with management off their backs. And what is key, she says, is her very competent management team that meets “all the time.”
Despite the long hours working and managing requests to help local nonprofits, Li believes in team building through fun activities and makes sure they are on the schedule. Moonstar employees enjoy monthly Karaoke and bowling, and recently they all hopped on a bus and headed to Disneyland courtesy of the boss. Li’s employees support her community services efforts by frequently working for free or donating tips at charitable events.
“Daisy has a unique personal style that is naturally motivational and permeates through the operation of Moonstar and everything she does for others.” Ting added. “Her employees and people all over the Bay Area know that if they need a hand, Daisy will lend hers. I have been to several nonprofit events were Daisy fed hundreds of guests and raised thousands of dollars. The list of causes she has supported is a mile long.”
Li has received numerous awards for her humanitarian service to the community from the City and County of San Francisco and Daly City. She serves on the Daly City-Colma Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
A spokesperson for the Daly City-Colma Chamber said of Li: “San Francisco’s loss is Daly City’s gain. We are so happy to have her among us.”
Li’s many pet projects include helping the elderly, hosting events for international organizations assisting malnourished children, the LGBT community, Asian Pacific Islander causes and the Girl Scouts. She also contributes to many scholarship drives.
Assemblymember Ting is the Chair of Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Assembly Select Committee on Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion, and he serves on the Budget, Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and the Revenue and Taxation committees.
CONTACT: Carol Chamberlain, email@example.com, office: 916-319-2019, cell: 916-804-5355