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Zongmin Li | Owner, General Manager

Dr. Zongmin Li grew up in Yunnan, China, and after receiving her masters from University of Beijing came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 90’s to pursue her doctoral studies in economic development. After receiving her PhD in development economics, she spent decades of work with USAID, the World Bank, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Ford Foundation in China, Africa and Central Asia. Her work has focused on the role of property rights and natural resource management in development. She has always been a devotee of Yunnan’s mixian, and has enjoyed sharing the distinct and flavorful noodle dishes with friends and family. Now she is pursing a long-standing dream of bringing Yunnan cuisine - mixian rice noodles in particular - to American diners. She chose Old Town North in Alexandria for Yunnan by Potomac because she lives there and loves cooking for friends and neighbors.

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John Bruce | Owner, Adviser

John Bruce is a retired World Bank attorney, an expert on land property systems. After a career in international development he devotes a part of his time to advising the management team on legal and regulatory matters and handling the paperwork involved in these. He wrote most of the material for our website and word-crafts our advertising. He acts is our liaison with the Counseling Office at T.C. Williams High School, several of whose students, selected with the assistance of the Counseling Office, are working part-time in the restaurant. His other time is devoted to his professional writing and running the doggy day care for the Bruce cocker spaniels. He is married to Zongmin Li. 

 

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Shao Bruce & Jia Cui

Shao Lee Bruce manages the restaurant’s Dining Room. Born in Wisconsin, He knows restaurants well, having worked in them as a server and in other capacities for several years before and during college. His studies in economics and business prepared him for the dollars and cents side of the restaurant. He designed our website and made important contributions to the restaurant’s décor. He is our go-to person for technical issues. He often steps into the kitchen to act as expediter, ensuring a smooth flow of food to those who ordered it. He is a licensed real estate agent and is finding room in his restaurant schedule to begin learning the realtor’s craft. 

 

Jia Cui manages the restaurant’s kitchen. She grew up in Beijing and in college there studied business management and accounting. She worked for the municipal school system in Beijing until she came to the US several years ago. She recently resigned from her position as shift manager with Starbucks to work full-time with Yunnan by Potomac. She has been very much involved in development of the dishes on the menu, as part of the restaurant’s “chef committee” and today manages the kitchen and together with Zongmin, does most of our cooking. Jia is married to Shao Bruce.