Ex-SIA Cabin Crew Helps Family’s Pork Business Go Online During Covid-19
During the pandemic, many businesses struggled to work around the Covid-19 restrictions placed upon the community.
As many entrepreneurs pivoted towards plying their trade online, some were left behind. Thankfully, for this family’s pork business, the younger generation was willing to quit their full-time jobs to help keep things afloat.
One of them was a 29-year-old woman who used to be part of the cabin crew with Singapore Airlines (SIA).
With the help of her husband, the couple took the business to new heights, successfully surviving the pandemic as a family.
Worked at SIA for 3 years
The woman who made the brave decision is Ms Chen Jiaqi, and her story was featured by 8World News on Friday (6 May).
Now 29 years old, she graduated from university with a degree in communications and new media.
She proceeded to work as an SIA cabin crew for three years.
She then worked at a start-up in Shanghai as a business development manager before the pandemic hit.
In-law’s butchery affected by pandemic
In Apr 2020, when Singapore was in the throes of the ‘Circuit Breaker’, Ms Chen was working from home in Singapore.
She noticed that her in-laws often looked tired and worried about the business of their stall.
The butchery, Quan Shui Wet Market, is located at Block 156, Bukit Batok Street 11.
They told 8World that they were afraid that they wouldn’t be able to sell off their stock during ‘Circuit Breaker’.
Ex-SIA cabin crew helped take pork business online
Ms Chen sympathised with their plight, describing it as heartbreaking.
So she decided to take the chance to help them fulfil their “dream” — retaking the business online after a previous aborted attempt.
This is where her degree and work experience came in handy.
They started off by taking a small number of orders from neighbours via WhatsApp, and delivering them on foot.
She also helped with the website design, product photography and sales strategy.
On top of that, she also helped out at the stall, chopping meat, defeathering chickens and making deliveries.
She quit her job
Ms Chen did all this while juggling her day job. However, when business improved after two months, her in-laws couldn’t cope.
Thus, she decided to quit her job and work full-time at the stall.
She told 8World that she never thought she’d work at a wet market, which was tough at first.
Besides starting early in the morning and ending late at night, the environment was also humid, dirty and noisy.
The work was also physically draining, prompting her to add,
The damage to body and soul is quite significant.
This led her to question whether she had made the right move.
Her husband also quit his job
However, Ms Chen wasn’t alone in the end. Her husband, who was a secondary school teacher, eventually left his job as well to join her at the stall.
He now manages the finances of the business. With the support of her family, Ms Chen now feels that this united front is strong enough to withstand the challenges.
Seeing their son and daughter-in-law taking the reins of the family business, allowing them to retire earlier, has also made their parents very happy.
The touched older couple said they’ll always support them.
Business now has online presence
Thanks to Ms Chen, Quan Shui Wet Market now has an aesthetically pleasing website that takes online orders.
They’re also active on social media with a Facebook page.
From meat, they’ve also since branched out to selling products like dim sum, vegetables and fruits.
Kudos to the filial couple
Many of Singapore’s old businesses have had to throw in the towel because the younger generation has no interest in carrying on.
Thus, it’s heartwarming to know that Quan Shui Wet Market, which has been around since 1968, will avoid this fate.
In fact, it’s prospering and moving into the future, thanks to the efforts of a very filial young couple.
Kudos to Ms Chen and her husband for sacrificing good jobs to take over their family business. We wish them success in their endeavours.
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Featured image adapted from 8world News on YouTube.