Zhao runs the kitchen, but as Tina says, "My mom isn’t a professionally trained chef. She’s my mom. The food she makes here, she makes for me at home.” Growing up near Tianjin in northeastern China, Zhao wanted to become a doctor, but instead, she became a computer programmer. In Louisville, she ran her own business building security cameras and big industrial machines. Or as she puts it, "I can build a machine that can fix a machine."
She had no idea that although she hadn’t become a doctor, she’d still have the opportunity to make people feel healthier. Tina and Zhao made the choice to go vegan together, and Zhao began making vegan muffins and generously handing them out wherever she went. Soon, people were encouraging her to sell her baked goods, so she set up shop at farmer’s markets, and her goodies eventually made their way onto the shelves at local natural grocery chain, Rainbow Blossom. Still, customers wanted more. So in January, with her daughter’s help, she opened Half-Peach. Zhao says the name means several things: in Chinese culture, the peach is a symbol of longevity, and she says, "The inside represents your true heart." And in her heart is kindness for all – human beings and animals.