By Ke Jin
If you walk down Bellinger Street in Eau Claire, there is L’Oriental store, which is one of the several Asian Groceries in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Upon opening the door and walk into the store, you will be greeted by Lesly Ly, the person who runs L’Oriental store.
“Hello! How are you?” Greeted by Lesly Ly.
Bora Hong Evans is a customer of L’Oriental store, she said of Ly, “Her greeting is full of life.”
Ly finished her four years degree of social work and worked as a professional social worker before she decided to focus on L’Oriental store. She now has a settled life with her husband, her four kids, and her full-time job as the owner of L’Oriental.
According to Ly, the reason why she left social work before is she always wanted to pursue a job where she can go without feeling like she is going to work. Working in L’Oriental store has given her the chance to talk about food all day and to work with people at the same time.
“That is my passion,” said Ly. “Food and people, and I put my passion into my daily life to make my job extraordinary.”
Based on Ly’s saying, The peak time for this store is after 3 p.m everyday. Customers come to buy or exchange recipes, share cooking tips with Ly, and even to ask questions about basic Asian medical pharmacology.
Vanessa Oaht, a customer who came in and asked about what to eat if she has sore throat, and Ly gave her several pieces of ginger and told her detailly about how to prepare it.
“Ly is always patient, willing and eager to help with me, even sometimes I ask so many questions,” Oaht said.
Ly believes that sometimes ordinary social worker can also be a healer by having communication with others.
“I got much better after talking with Ly, I appreciated it.” said by Alaa Hyoung, a customer came from another town.
Alaa Hyoung came to Eau Claire just for doctor consultation because of her disease. She went to L’Oriental to buy some candy because she was so down. Ly decided to give the candy for free because she recognized that customer might have a bad day.
“I was a little bit shocked with the surprise, the candy,” Alaa said.
Alaa started to talk with Ly about her disease, even though Ly is not a professional doctor. Ly healed Alaa by being a listener, which is exactly what Alaa needed. Several weeks after that, the same customer came back Ly’s store because she just wanted to have Ly talk with her, and that made her feel much better.
Ly mentioned there are a bunch of customers already became regulars of L’Oriental store, and there is one named Lee Seng Vue, he said of L’Oriental store,
“Awesome customer service! Very friendly and talkative whenever I visit, which makes me feel welcomed and want to return in the future.”
“Even though I’m not going to get rich and I’m not going to be somebody who is very well-known. I am happy and that is the reason why I am still here.” Ly said.