When Andy Ye moved to Canada from his home in Guangdong Province in China a year ago, he could not have known that his life would soon be tied to Cache Creek.
However, the new owner of the Bear’s Claw Lodge in Cache Creek is committed to giving back to the community; and on December 2 he presented a cheque for $1,000 to representatives of the area’s Christmas Hamper committee.
Ye’s English is improving, he says with a laugh, but he spoke mostly through a translator—mainly family friend Timothy Yang—when talking to The Journal. He says that he came to Canada because he wanted his children to learn about, and enjoy, Canadian culture and Canadian values, which include freedom, respect for cultural differences, and a commitment to social justice.
Ye, who comes from a small town, started with nothing. The business he built up there was related to the service industry, and when he moved to Canada he was looking out for something in that field. However, he wanted to purchase something in a smaller community, as he believes that “People in small communities know each other, and help each other.”
He learned that Pat and Sandy Schwindt, who established the Bear’s Claw in 1997, had the business for sale. “I met the owners, and got a very good impression,” says Ye. He made an offer, which was accepted; and three months ago he became the business’s new owner.
“The former owners wanted the business to continue,” says Ye, who adds that he kept on all the staff who wanted to stay. “We’ve had to replace a lot of things, and we plan to replace a lot more.” In the spring he plans to work on the building’s exterior and landscaping, to attract more customers. “It’s good for business, and good for the community.”
When asked what prompted him to make a donation to the Christmas Hamper committee, Ye says he was in China when he heard about this summer’s wildfires and the effect they had on Cache Creek and area. “When I came back I read the news, and knew that Christmas would be hard for many people.
“The Village of Cache Creek gave me lots of support when I came here, and I thought this was a way to contribute to the community. It’s a small amount, but it will help.”