Joyce Chen started with a 250-seat restaurant, went to 350 and only grew her empire from there

Man and a woman standing in front of a counter smiling

I recently began working as a volunteer for History Cambridge, updating the 2011 Culinary Cambridge website written by Rain Robertson. Digging through the Cambridge Public Library’s Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection has been a great opportunity to revisit some of my favorite restaurants. My best experience so far has been speaking with Stephen Chen, son of Joyce Chen, to review information and enrich the restaurant’s history with photographs and personal stories. In honor of May being Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we salute Joyce Chen, her restaurants and her family legacy.

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Fall Conversation: How Has Food Mended Cambridge?

Over the course of 2021, History Cambridge has been exploring the ways in which the city has repaired its social, economic, and political fabric in the wake of historical crisis points—as well as the ways in which the need for mending remains. As a means of both physical and emotional nourishment, food has played a…

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Who Are Cambridge Women?

Profiles included: Barbara Ackermann | Maria Baldwin | Ann Bookman | Sara Chapman Bull | Joyce Chen | Helen Lee Franklin | Suzanne R. Green | Lois Lilley Howe | Edith Lesley | Eva Neer | Mercy Scollay | Elizabeth Sullivan | Phyllis Wallace Our 2020 theme was Who Are Cambridge Women? But why spend…

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Savoring the Legacy of Joyce Chen

Chef. Restaurateur. Entrepreneur. by Stephen Chen, president of Joyce Chen Foods Reproduced from joycechenfoods.com with permission Born in Beijing in 1917, my mother Joyce Chen came to this country with my dad, sister and brother in 1949. We moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where friends of the family had settled, and where I was born. Surrounded…

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