In San Francisco's Chinatown many family-owned small businesses face a dilemma: younger generations, armed with degrees from colleges and universities, often prefer to work for companies that offer high-paid jobs instead of taking over their parents’ businesses, reports Sing Tao newspaper. As a result, even though some businesses have a good reputation and have been around for a long time, many are having a hard time keeping their business in the family, especially when the store owners face retirement or pass away.

There are exceptions, of course. New owners of Mee Heong Bakery and Mow Lee Shing Kee & Company, for example, are choosing to take over their parents' business instead of taking jobs elsewhere.

Jason Li is the second generation of Mee Heong Bakery, a Cantonese bakery and restaurant located on Powell St. Li majored in computer science, received a bachelor's degree from San Francisco
State and a Master's from San Jose State, and worked for Cisco for two years. But after his mother passed away, leaving his father to run the family restaurant alone, he gave up his job in high tech to help with the business. He told Sing Tao that his father would like to keep the store rather than sell it, so he put his dreams in his father's small shop.

Tat Li, 77 years old, who learned how to bake in Hong Kong, has been running the store with his wife and raised five children and welcomed the news. "I have been worried about lack of new blood. Now I'm relieved," Li told the Sing Tao.

Gerald Lee, meanwhile, represents the next generation of Mow Lee Shing Kee & Company, a Cantonese restaurant located at Commercial St. Lee just received a degree from UC Riverside in economics. He told the Sing Tao that he and his two brothers don't mind taking over their parents' business in the near future. They are thinking of using new equipment to increase production capacity, build their brand, and open up other locations in the Bay Area. He said his older brother is
studying for an accounting license, and his younger brother is going to graduate school next year at UC Berkeley. The three of them plan to work together to revitalize the business.

Lee's mother, Lieam Cheng, said her three sons grow up in Chinatown, and have been working in the restaurant after school since they were little. After her sons familiarize themselves with all things related to the restaurant, she and her husband plan to let them to run the business by themselves.