Behind the Business of David’s Dumplings

Behind the business of davids dumplings

In this interview with Manager Chilton Sheppard, he gave us the inside information of David’s Dumplings. 



Continue reading to learn more!

IMG 20220620 113917 408

The Back Story

David’s Dumplings was started by David Mao in 2010. The son of Chinese immigrants David was raised in Vietnam and moved to North Carolina in the 70s. This shaped not only his character but cooking. When David arrived in Raleigh, many of the Laotian, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese cuisines we see all over town had yet to arrive. He took it upon himself to open three restaurants to expand Raleigh’s taste in international, specifically Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian fusion, food. He opened the Mandarin House, Duck and Dumpling, and lastly David’s Dumplings. The first two restaurants were highly regarded but catered to the public’s tastes, David sought out a place where he could build a menu he was passionate about, David’s Dumplings.

Meet Chilton Sheppard

20221017 113907

A North Carolina native, Chilton Sheppard, graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and then quickly moved to Raleigh. He started as a food runner for David at David’s Dumplings but quickly rose through the ranks. David saw something in Chilton and personally took him under his wing. Today, after the transition of ownership in 2016, new owners depend on Chilton to maintain the restaurant’s quality cuisine and reputation.

Q & A With Chilton Sheppard

How would you describe David’s Dumplings in 10 words or less(give or take a few)?

I would describe it as a local hot spot to find traditional Chinese Vietnamese fusion comfort food.

Favorite dish?

The pad Thai noodles with curry sauce.

What is the hardest part about managing a restaurant?

I would stay with the staffing and the scheduling. I love hiring college-age people because of their love for learning and their ability to quickly pick things up but finding, keeping, and scheduling them around their class schedules is challenging. 

Behind the business of davids dumplings
Behind the business of davids dumplings
What is your favorite part about working at David’s Dumplings?

I love being a part of this community. The Hillsborough Street community and the surrounding area are a special place and I enjoy carrying on David’s legacy here.

Why Hillsborough Street?

David had one restaurant in the village district (which used to be Cameron village) and one in Morris Square. He opened his third restaurant on Hillsborough Street because of its proximity to campus, the distance from downtown, and he already had deep connections in the area. 

How do you balance work and life outside of work?  I split my day between shifts and use the breaks between to take care of my dog and myself. I try to keep working only at work.

Any advice to other people in the business?
  1. You have to find the middle ground between being assertive and micromanaging. 
  2. Learn how to delegate. 
  3. And of course, it is important to pay attention to detail but you can’t always do it all.
Behind the business of davids dumplings
Behind the business of davids dumplings
What has managing a restaurant taught you about yourself?

Managing this restaurant has taught me that I am more of a people person than I thought I was. Taking this position pushed me to become more outgoing and take on more responsibility. The pandemic also pushed me. I am extremely proud of myself and our team that pushed through. I have learned that at times I don’t give myself enough credit for what I can do.

Plug it!

Our Dumplings are handmade fresh in-house daily; if you haven’t tried them, you are missing out. Also, follow @davidsdumplingsnoodlebar on Instagram for deals and information about specials and events.