Mr Woon Wing Yip, OBE 葉煥榮先生, OBE

Information

Date 5 May 2011 Interviewed by Lai Sheung Wong
Language English Audio Edited by Chong Goh
Venue Wing Yip Superstore, Cricklewood, London    

Mr Woon Wing Yip O. B. E. arrived from Hong Kong on a boat in 1959, and has since become one of the UK's most successful Chinese businessmen.

Approximately two years later Mr Yip and his business partners opened their first Chinese restaurant in Clacton-on-Sea, which was quickly followed by the opening of three other restaurants and one takeaway.

In 1970 Mr Yip and his brother Mr Sammy Yap opened their first specialist Chinese grocery store in the heartland of Birmingham. When brother Mr Lee Sing Yap joined the business, the company opened its Manchester store.

Wing Yip now has four superstores in Birmingham, Manchester, Cricklewood and Croydon. Two further stores are planned for Cardiff and Nottingham. Wing Yip imports directly from the Far East, with each store stocking more than 3,000 authentic Chinese and Asian foods and products.

The centre of Birmingham hosts a Chinese pagoda, a gift from Mr Yip and his brothers as a thank you to the city which enabled their business to become so successful.

In 2008 Mr Yip was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University. In 2010, Mr Yip was awarded with an O.B.E. for services to the Oriental food industry in the New Year Honours List, shortly followed by receipt of a lifetime achievement award at the World Food Awards.