Today we will continue to feature stallholders at Tiong Bahru Market. The groceries on Marketfresh.com.sg comes directly from these stallholders.
Mr Chua Seng Heng and his wife Mrs Mary Chong has been selling pork in Tiong Bahru Market for almost 40 years. The business was started by Mr Chua’s father over 50 years ago. Mr Chua had been helping at the stall since he was a boy and he naturally took over the business once he came of age. His wife started helping at the stall full time after they got married.
Seng Heng and Mary are a hardworking couple and they are very down to earth. Mr Chua still rides his trusty old antique bicycle to work after so many years. He is usually draped in his classic ‘uncle’ white singlet. Mary never wears jewelry. They are content and are two of the nicest people I have ever met. They are very affable and have many friends, both stallholders and customers, in Tiong Bahru Market. From time to time you can hear Mary’s laughter permeate the market.
- image source from Tiong Bahru Estate Facebook Page
Mr Chua and Mary has been married for over 30 years. They have 2 children, both in their 30s’, and two grandchildren whom they adore. From our conversation, I can sense that they are very proud of their one daughter and one son. Both are university graduates and are now high-salaried executives. Obviously, their children are not going to take over their pork stall at the end of the day. Mr Chua and Mary have no qualms about this. In fact, they are happy that their children have done well and are living better lives than they had.
For as long as I have been in Tiong Bahru Market, I have never seen Mr Chua or Mary take a single day off. After so many years toiling away in the wet market, they have more than earned the means and the rights to take it easy and enjoy their later years. However, being hardworking is baked into their DNA, like many of the wet market stallholders who have sent their entire lives in the wet market. Mr Chua and Mary’s daily routine at Tiong Bahru have long become part of their lives. It has come to a point where they do not know how nor do they want to stop.
Mr Chua and Mary still carves out whole pigs at their stall. The pigs are sent directly to them after being slaughtered at the abattoir. Nowadays it is easier and faster to buy wholesale pork sections after they have been cut and processed in the factories. They still insist to do it the traditional way because they can better control the quality. Their pork comes from Indonesia and it does not have the overbearing pork odour that usually plagues low quality pork.
If you do visit Tiong Bahru Market, you can probably find their stall by listening to the trail of Mary’s laughter. Alternatively, you may purchase their pork through Marketfresh.com.sg.
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