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Nostalgia And Flavor: Saturday Dumpling Club Takes Off In Minneapolis

This article was originally published on June 18, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - It started out as a pandemic passion: making dumplings with his wife to share with friends.

But eventually, people started asking where they could buy them. That's how the Saturday Dumpling Club got started for Peter Bian.

If nostalgia was a flavor, it would be the taste of dumplings native to the town where Bian was born, just outside of Beijing.

"As long as I can remember, these recipes were in our family," said Bian.

"It tastes like my childhood for sure," he added. "Every time I came back from college we would eat dumplings, Chinese New Year we're always eating dumplings."

His mother's recipe, though, is hard to nail down.

"You know, like immigrant moms they never share recipes first of all," he said.

Nailing the technique is also harder than it looks. But when you're making 5,000 of them every week, you get good at it.

Until last month, Bian was making dumplings at his condo, selling out every week in less than an hour. Customers would pick them up on Saturday from his garage.

"It was fun for like the first week, until we have to tell like two to three hundred people 'sorry, we're sold out'," said Bian.

New he's working out of the Bull's Horn kitchen, carrying on his mother's legacy and returning to the flavors he once shied away from growing up in Minnesota.

"I grew up in like a 98% white neighborhood, like northern suburbs, so I kind of ran away from my culture like it was strange, it was weird," he said. "I wanted to eat hot lunch and bring sandwiches."

Now, the thing that he shied away from has now become a booming business.

"It just feels good that a little bit of my childhood is living on in Minneapolis," he said.

Peter takes orders every Wednesday on the Saturday Dumpling Club website. Pickup is at rotating locations. He says he's looking for a more permanent location.

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