House of China reports slow sales since spoiled food incident

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Tuesday, Sawa Japanese Cuisine said it was still feeling the pinch from the food delivery snafu with its Cleveland distributor in May.

On Wednesday, the owners of House of China in the Boardman Plaza said they have seen such a drop in business since news of the spoiled food broke that their hours have been cut drastically.

The owners said that in their decades of business, it has never been this slow. They want to re-assure their customers that the “spoiled” product was never used in their restaurant and they changed distributors right away.

“When it was delivered, we were notified immediately so the product was never used in our restaurant. It was disposed of immediately. We changed distributors immediately so we are kind of hoping to get the trust of the people and customers come back in,” House of China employee Candy Calabrese said.

Employees said business is slowly picking up, but it’s still nowhere near as busy as it was before.

“When I first started three years ago, this restaurant, people would be waiting to be seated, so it really declined,” Calabrese said.

She said employees are working between seven and 10 hours a week. That is compared to the 30 to 35 hours they were working prior to the May 29 incident.

But the restaurant’s most loyal customers said even that news could not keep them away.

“You know, the food has always been great. The food has always been nice and fresh, so I have been very happy with it,” customer Ramon Jones said.

“I have been eating here for probably 10 years every week. There was no difference, there was no problems,” customer Todd Horlick said. “It made me nervous the first time I heard it and I was looking up all the places, but I was back at my normal time within the week.”

The owners at House of China said they no longer use New Sheng Hung. They even showed our news crew invoices of the new company they are ordering their food from.

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