By my queenstown on Thursday, July 1, 2010 with 1 comment
One gaze at the market area in Tanglin Halt and we can see a number of mini marts or provision shops. Most of these provision shops have graced this part of Queenstown for many decades. Cai & Cai, located at Blk 46-2 is one of them. What's so special about this provision shop?
Cai & Cai Provision Shop at Tanglin Halt
Cai & Cai has been serving residents in Tanglin Halt since 1967. For 43 years, it has constantly renewed itself to remain relevant even though many of their fellow competitors have fallen prey to gigantic supermarkets like Sheng Shiong and NTUC sprouting at strategic locations. Mr Chua Boon Gay, 58, the current owner of Cai & Cai, believes in continuous improvements and improvisations. Since his father passed on the family business to him 15 years ago, Mr Chua has made several daring attempts to modernise the provision shop. He installed an electronic cash register, air conditioners and plasma TVs so that the younger crowd will continue to patronise. When MyQueenstown team asks Mr Chua why he has done so, he replied candidly, "The Mama shop business is a declining trade. Mega supermarkets such as Sheng Shiong, NTUC, Cold Storage have been making headways into the heartlands and it is very difficult for smaller shops, with lower economies of scale, to survive."
On a lighter note, we discover that Mr Chua is a blessed father of 4 and a grandfather of 6. He has lived in Tanglin Halt his entire life and loved his present job as a shopkeeper because he can converse with all the residents there.
Rows of Sweets! Yippie!