Story behind the HK traditional grocery store

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

During the process of looking for a relatable location for our Upcycled Stitchless line products photoshoot, I came across an interview of a classic Hong Kong traditional grocery store, Shing Hing Loong 成興隆 (SHL). A hidden gem in the centre of Prince Edward.

It is NOT one of those massive, air conditioned with huge amount of plastic packaging type of grocery store (supermarkets). But a store that has continued the 37 years tradition of selling mainly The seven necessities (開門七件事), as well as baring in mind the importance of being as environmental friendly as possible.

A group photo with Ar Bo, the owner of Shing Hing Loong.

The seven necessities (開門七件事) originated from the phrase "Firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea are the seven necessities to begin a day". The items were known as early as the Song dynasty travel book, Dreams of the Former Capital. The Chinese phrase "seven necessities" literally means "開 open 門 door 七 seven 件事 items" when translated, which suggest that in order for a family to run smoothly on a daily basis, it is very important to have all these seven necessities in everyones' homes.

We decided that the colour tone of the grocery store will match the colours of our products, as well as the fact that this type of traditional grocery stores is so considerate that they will sell as little as HKD $3 dollars worth of salt to their customers. Which is what we should all try to achieve in order not to waste excess food.

After contacting the owner Ar Bo (阿寶), she was very kind to have let us mess around taking photos of our products in her store. During the 2 hours shoot, we began slowly noticing the tiny details of reusable materials hanging around the store. After chatting with Ar Bo (阿寶), she explained to us how she reuses packaging materials from the store deliveries.

Reusable materials such as newspaper hanging around the store

The family would use newspaper for wrapping fragile products, such as salted eggs and century eggs. Instead of traditionally used plastic bags, which often become broken eggs when customers get home.

Bi-fold wallet in Red.

A bunch of nylon ropes and hemp ropes in different lengths hanging right by the egg cartons, ready to pack the eggs carton, as SHL have invented a way of selling half of the carton 10 eggs instead of a full carton 20 eggs. Providing their customers a choice of purchasing the amount they need for the time being.

A bunch of nylon ropes and hemp ropes in different lengths handing right by the egg cartons.

Apart from using reusable materials for packaging , we also noticed an extinct bottle of Mr. Juicy orange juice upcycled and used as a scoop for the rice, How creative! And we were shocked at the fact how long lasting this plastic bottle actually is.

An extinct bottle of Mr. Juicy orange juice upcycled and used as a scoop for the rice.

There are many more creative re-using and upcycling objects in the store, therefore please do pay them a visit if you are interested!

Last but not lease, we would like to say a massive thank you to Ar Bo (阿寶) and her family for being so generous, allowing us to carry out our first photo shoot at SHL. Their warmness towards us and their local customers very deeply touched our hearts.

Shing Hing Loong Grocery 12 Cedar Street, Prince Edward. 成興隆糧油雜貨 太子柏樹街12號 23950775 0845-1930 (close on Sunday)

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