Evolving with the times

Old school, new world: Woo preparing some of the items to be shipped to customers who purchased them online at the Kwong Tuck Sundries and Liquors Store in Campbell Street, George Town. — K.T.GOH/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Having stood the test of time since 1836, a traditional sundry shop here in Campbell Street now hopes to be around for many more years by embracing the latest technology to engage with its clients.

The popular shop for many ethnic Chinese families for over 180 years now has an online presence and delivery service.

The fourth generation owner of Kwong Tuck Sundries and Liquors Store Woo Shee Khow, 91, said they had to adapt to this method in order to sustain their business.

“Early this year before the Chinese New Year we started going digital and started a website to cater to our clients from other states.

“In view of the Covid-19 pandemic and interstate travel restrictions, we wanted to bring our products to them as they cannot travel here to buy them.

“Our store was established in 1836 and most of our clients are usually here looking for our imported Chinese sausages, Chinese tea and liquor.

“These products and ingredients are very popular among the Cantonese community. They use it to prepare and make certain special dishes, ” the nonagenarian said when met here recently.

Woo said those who love the “kocha bi” would also patronise their shop to seek the traditional ingredients offered there.

“Many of our customers are regulars and have been patronising our store for many years.

“From their grandmothers’ times up to their grandchildren. Some families have been shopping here for generations.

“They like our distinct way of arranging and placing the items in store, ” he said.

“Visiting our store now would remind them of the olden days when their parents would bring them here, ” he shared.

One of the customers spotted buying Chinese tea at the store was Oo Kein Hong, 71.

“I’m an avid fan of the ‘Lok Poh’ tea sold exclusively here

“You can only find this tea with this distinct taste at this place. So, I have become a regular client since my father brought me here when I was young.

“To me, its not only about products, but it also gives me a nostalgic feeling coming here and seeing items hung up or stored on glass jars.

“We don’t see this style of store layout anymore, ” he said.

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