The name Y93 has a special meaning to the owners, Susanna and Alan Yau. Y is the initial of the last name of the owners, and 93 is their house number. Their house number is included in the name because the cafe is like a second home to the owners. You might be thinking that it is because they spend Monday to Saturday at the cafe from 11am – 7pm, however that is not the only reason. The owners believe that the cafe is like their home where others can come to share their own stories and be able to feel at home in the coziness of the cafe. Since they strive to make it a second home, they serve their favourite Japanese dishes and the food is prepared with heart like a home cooked meal.
Through these tough times, owner Susanna “was not scared”. They have gone through tough times before and believed that God has guided them through it. Through faith and the love of Japanese culture, it allowed the Yau couple to create Y93. This is also symbolic in the logo of the cafe. The logo is a fish on top of a Totoro. The fish represents their faith in Christianity and what has guided them towards starting the business and the Totoro represents their love for Japanese food/culture.
Mari, one of the staff at Y93, is more like family than an employee. She came from Japan, where her family had run a restaurant for 53 years, to Canada where she came across Y93 and fell in love with the business immediately. She says it reminds her of her own family restaurant in Japan and that working at Y93 makes her feel right at home. She even makes the commute from her home in Black Diamond to Y93 everyday! Mari had also shipped back dishes used in her family’s restaurant in Japan when she went back to visit and they have become treasures for Y93. “Everything has a story, even the dishes!” Susanna exclaims as she shows off the handcrafted bowls and plates. It seems as though the spirit of the warm, family-run business has travelled from Japan all the way to Calgary, and that spirit is evidently present in their food!
Written by: Rachel Wong and Alex Tong
Photos by: William Leung
Producer: Brian Wong