The Legend of Seeds

Although some people think selling seeds may not be a big business, it actually involves several complicated procedures including washing, frying and packaging the seeds. Since the start of business, Shanghai Luk Kam Kee insists on manage and complete the frying process by itself. At the beginning, the company lacked reputation and financial resources, so Mr. Luk Kam Lee was only able to order a small batch of raw seed per time. Therefore, Mr. Luk had to travel by bicycle and ferry for about three hours three times per week, in order to ensure sufficient supply of fresh raw seeds.

 

Conversion of Grocery to Seeds Specialty Store

Originally, Shanghai Luk Kam Kee was a grocery store. Every time when there was a break, the nearby factory workers would buy snacks from Luk Kam Kee. As the number of customers grew continuously, all members of the Luk’s family were needed to provide help to the store, however, only Mr. Luk Kam Lee and his eldest son Mr. Luk Choi Lung knew the skills to fry the seeds perfectly. When Mr. Luk Choi Lung was young, he had to learn how to fry the seeds but he was not strong enough to lift up the huge frying pan, so Mr. Luk Kam Lee provided him with a rope to facilitate his learning progress. In every Lunar New Year’s Eve, all family members are always glad to provide assistance to the store. From the viewpoint of the Luk’s family, the best way to celebrate the festival is simply enjoying the Chinese dessert – dried longan and egg sweet soup.

 

The Importance of Efforts

When Mr. Luk Kam Lee retired from the business in his eighty, he still insisted on visiting the store every day so as to supervise the business.

1. After Mr. Luk Kam Lee’s retirement, the business is mainly managed by his eldest son, while the daily operation of the store is supervised by his eldest daughter Luk Choi Nam. In every Lunar New Year’s Eve, all of his sons and daughters always stop working from their jobs but get back to the store to offer help.
2. The stores always offer “all-you-can-eat” to its customers, therefore the stores’ floor which is full of seed shells, is one of the remarkable signatures of Shanghai Luk Kam Kee.
3. Although Mr. Luk Kam Lee was physically challenged in his later years, he always visited the store with his wife. The most interesting picture in the store was the comparison between this sweet elderly couple and the extremely busy staffs.
4. Black seed is the hottest product, so Luk Kam Kee always places the black seeds in the inner area in order to attract customers to stay for a longer time in the store.
5. Mr. Luk Kam Lee had put huge efforts in researching how to keep the seeds fresh, one simple method is to place them in a shady and cool place. If the weather is humid, the seeds must be transferred to sealed packages, then they can be stored about one to two months. A traditional and effective key to keeping the fried seeds fresh and crispy is, once the frying procedure is completed, they must be immediately stored by plastic package and then wrapped by a paper bag.

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