When the COVID-19 pandemic began and the lockdown was implemented around the world, many businesses suffered, and thousands of employees globally lost their jobs. On top of that, the restrictions during lockdown had every citizen stay indoors and follow protocols.
However, during the lockdown, some businesses continued to prosper online while others who were not familiar with the internet were left behind. Fortunately, a family’s pork business was saved. Thanks to the assistance of a young couple who quit their full-time jobs to help the family’s business during the pandemic.
29-year-old Ms. Chen Jiaqi decided to quit her job as a Flight Stewardess with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to help with the family business. Her story of bravery was featured on the YouTube channel of 8World News on Friday, the 6th of May.
Together with her husband, the couple brought the family business to a higher level. Not faltered by the threat of the pandemic, the couple successfully raised the business to new heights.
Ms. Chen Jiaqi graduated with a degree in Communications and New Media. For 3 years, she worked as a cabin crew for Singapore Airlines. Before the pandemic hit, she worked in Shanghai as a Business Development Manager.
In April 2020, when the whole world was on lockdown, Ms. Chen was back in Singapore and working from her home. At the time, she noticed that her in-laws often looked tired and worried that the family business may be affected. The butcher shop, Quan Shui Wet Market, is located at Block 156, Bukit Batok Street 11.
The in-laws told 8World that they were worried since their stocks won’t be sold during the lockdown. Hearing this, Ms. Chen sympathized with them and felt heartbroken.
Putting her degree and work experiences to use, she resorted to taking the family business online. She wanted to fulfill her in-laws’ “dream” despite a failed attempt the first time.
The family started taking small orders from people in the neighborhood via WhatsApp and delivered them personally. Ms. Chen helped get the business online by creating the website design, product photography, and sales strategy. Additionally, she assisted in the stall chopping meat, defeathering chickens, and making deliveries. Ms. Chen did all she can while doing her day job in between orders and deliveries.
Thanks to the couple’s unwavering assistance, the business improved after two months. However, the in-laws could no longer manage due to their advanced ages. Ms. Chen decided to quit her job and work at the stall full-time, admitting to 8World that she never worked in a wet market before due to the tough job it entails. Ms. Chen worked from the early hours of the morning until very late at night in a humid, dirty, and noisy environment.
The work was exhausting, both physically and mentally, which prompted her to think about whether she made the right decision to change the course of her job. “The damage to body and soul is quite significant.” Ms. Chen commented.
Thankfully, her husband, a secondary school teacher, also quit his job to help out in the stall. Ms. Chen was no longer alone in taking over the family business.
Ms. Chen’s husband manages the finances of the family business. With the whole family working together, she feels that in unity, there is strength, and they can surely face the challenges that come their way.
Deciding to have an early retirement, the in-laws entrusted the reins of the family business to the young couple. They knew that they were in good hands. The happy elderly couple promised to support their son and his wife.
Thanks to Ms. Chen, Quan Shui Wet Market is now online and ready to take orders. You may also visit their active Facebook page. Other than meat, they have also started selling other products like dim sum, vegetables, and fruits.
Other businesses in Singapore have conceded since the pandemic began, and the younger generation had no interest in pursuing the family’s business. Quan Shui Wet Market, which has been around since 1968, has successfully surpassed the challenges, including the pandemic.
Quan Shui Wet Market is prospering more than ever, thanks to the efforts of Ms. Chen and her husband. Kudos to the filial young couple for putting the family’s business first and making it rise to greater heights. We wish them the best in all their endeavors.
Screenshots images credits: 8world/YouTube