Founded by the Yu's family in the bustling Graham Street bazaar in early 1930s, So Ha Vegetables has now passed its torch to the third generation after almost 90 years of family business operation. So Ha is well known for their quality fruits and vegetable among the local communities.
Since 2005, the shop has been operated by the three siblings of the Yu’s family. Ms. Yu, the eldest sister, recalled how she lingered at the shop since she was eight. It is from then when she gathered all the knowledge about origins and sources of fruits and vegetables, quality and product selection procedures, not to mention the operation of her family business. Though once she considered pursuing other career paths after graduation, Ms. Yu eventually chose this path to take on the inherited business and works side by side with her two younger siblings.
In fact, the shop name itself reveals a special tie between generations thanks to its origin, the baby name of Ms. Yu's father. "The name 'So Ha Vegetables' was adopted from my grandparents’ era as they often called my father 'So Ha' ('toddler' in Cantonese)", Ms. Yu gave a warm smile. She added, "Working in the market industry is no easy job. But with the great bonding established with the "kaifongs" and customers, and now the shop being a full-fledged operation, we are confident in overcoming challenges."
Catering for the Trends with Products Comparable to Supermarkets
How is a day with Ms. Yu like? Check this out. Starting from mid-night, Ms. Yu begins her day at wholesale markets sourcing products, then buries herself at the stall until 8 pm when she calls it a day. "I do market research via my daily conversation with the customers, and also by observations at supermarkets with some after-work online research. I would first try new products myself. Only those with good quality will be placed on our shelves as regular products." Ms. Yu describes the customers at Graham Market "the picky ones", joined by some new-generation shoppers focusing on wellness and health. Imported products like lettuce, kale, fig, avocado, and also a variety of herbs add to the extensive list of offering by So Ha making you feel like in an international market.
It is not unusual for family members to have diverse views on running family business but the arguments never run long. The satisfaction from the compliments among the customers are Yu's family sense of satisfaction and the driving force to carry on So Ha beyond 100 years.