Open for Business
Three miles from the north gate of Tongshan City is the port. There are hundreds of ships carrying passengers and goods every day, and the flow of people is very large.
The North and South Streets, which are directly connected to the harbor, have the most foot traffic, with the North Street being the more prosperous between the two as it is congested with many shops.
Yu Qingze wishes you the best for reading on hololonovels.
So, how can there be less food stalls in a place with many people like that! On the street near the North City Gate, there are many food vendors, shops, and peddlers. Many merchants will fill their stomachs before leaving the city to take a boat, or buy the food to go to eat on the road.
On this day, near the North City Gate, an old man was walking with a young man about eight or nine years old. The temperature had gone up significantly once the sun had risen, and they were both sweating profusely, as if they had traveled a long distance.
“Grandpa, I’m hungry and can’t walk anymore. Let’s have something to eat before we go.” The little boy covered his stomach and stopped in front of a small stall, his face wrinkled bitterly, he looked really hungry, especially the smell of food wafting from the left and right of the street, which woke up the greedy worms in people’s stomachs.
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The old man looked left and right and asked the little boy, “What do you want to eat? Noodles, little troublemaker?”
The little boy looked at the steaming noodle stalls and frowned: “It’s too hot, I don’t want to eat noodles.”
The old man asked again, “Mantou? Steamed buns?”
The little boy still shook his head, “The buns are also hot. Grandpa, isn’t there anything that isn’t so hot? It’s already hot today!”
“There are only fruit snacks that are not hot. Do you want to eat?” The old man looked around again, a little flustered.
“…I want to be able to eat enough.” The little boy replied with a frown.
“Then let the noodles cool before eating.”
The grandfather and grandson were about to go to the noodle shop on the side, when a shout caught their attention.
Two steps ahead on their right, a young man was shouting in front of a stall called ‘Yu Ji Yi Xian’.
Yu Qingze wishes you the best for reading on hololonovels.
“The new stall has opened, selling cold noodles and Liangpi, it’s appetizing and refreshing, and the first 50 customers will get free mung bean soup…”
Hearing the word ‘cold noodles’ and mung bean soup, the little boy’s eyes lit up, he pulled his grandfather and walked over there, “Grandpa, cold noodles! There is also mung bean soup!”
Pedestrians who heard the shouts were attracted by the ‘cold noodles and Liangpi’, and some were attracted by the free mung bean soup, and they all wanted to see what it was selling.
Some people asked: “What kind of food is cold noodles? How do you sell them?”
The stall owner brought out a bowl of cold noodles. The silky noodles are filled with red chili oil, adorned with green shredded cucumbers and chopped green onions, and brown beans?
The stall owner smiled and said: “Hello customer, this is my cold noodles, it is absolutely refreshing and appetizing, you can try it with bamboo skewers.”
A young man with thick bangs took out a bamboo stick and an empty bowl for those interested to try some, but no one came forward.
The little boy pulled his grandfather and squeezed into the crowd. When he saw that he could try it, he immediately shouted, “I’ll come, I’ll come!”
The young man with thick bangs smiled and took two bamboo sticks to him, then took a chopstick of cold noodles and put it in a bowl and handed it to him.
The little boy ate the cold noodles with the chopsticks with a swish with a bamboo stick, and his eyes lit up after eating, “It’s delicious! Grandpa, let’s eat this!”
The old man saw that his grandson liked it, and said helplessly: “Boss, how much is a bowl of your cold noodles?”
The stall owner replied: “Small servings are five coppers a bowl, medium servings are six coppers a bowl, and large servings are seven coppers a bowl.”
The old man said: “Then give us two small bowls.”
“Okay, two bowls of small cold noodles! Do you want mild, medium or very spicy?”
“Customer sir, please sit over there, wait a moment, it will be ready soon.”
After listening to the little guy saying it was delicious, some people around couldn’t help but try it.
Yu Qingze wishes you the best for reading on hololonovels.
The noodle is silky smooth on the tongue, somewhat spicy and slightly sour, and their taste buds are immediately awakened; the cucumber shreds and beans are crisp and refreshing, and the appetite lost from the hot summer is quickly restored.
“Well, it’s not bad!”
“Boss, what’s the taste of your Liangpi? Can I try it?”
“Yes, yes, here, this bowl is Liangpi, you can try it.”
“This Liangpi tastes good too, I don’t know how it is made. Boss, give me a bowl of Liangpi, I want to eat this!”
“Well, this is so appetizing. In this hot day, my family doesn’t have much appetite, and the children have lost weight! Boss, bring me two bowls of cold noodles: one small bowl and one medium bowl!”
Those who have tried it have had their appetites, which are practically dead after spending the summer here, rekindled and now very stimulated that they suddenly became very hungry.
The two small tables were quickly filled. The grandfather and grandson who were trying to eat at the beginning looked at each other and quickly got up after eating with a smile, and gave their seats to other guests.
“Boss, check out!” The little boy gave the boss ten coppers of money very proudly and winked at him.
The boss, Yu Qingze, couldn’t help laughing and took the money. Chang Le, who was behind him, looked at his grandfather and grandson, and his face turned red with laughter!
His grandfather and younger brother pretending to be regular guests is just too funny.
“Boss, how did you make the beans? It’s delicious!” A guest asked Yu Qingze, holding the sour beans in the bowl.
Yu Qingze smiled and said, “This is the pickled sour beans in my house, it’s a secret recipe that no one else has!”
After saying this, the guest knew that the method was impossible to ask, so he said, “Can you sell some of these beans to me? I wanna bring it back to my family.”
Yu Qingze cooked noodles skillfully, and replied, “Okay, seven coppers per pound, how much do you want?”
The guest was surprised, “It’s so expensive. The beans on the market are only five coppers a pound.”
Yu Qingze said: “It’s the taste that makes the difference.”
The guest thought about it and said, “Okay, give me… a pound first.”
Yu Qingze smiled at Chang Le and said, “Brother Le, weigh a pound of sour beans for the guest.” Then he explained to the guest that the sour beans can’t be kept for a long time, so it’s best to fry them as soon as possible, or you can eat them without frying too.
Chang Le blinked, fished out a pound of sour beans from the jar, wrapped it in oil paper and handed it to the guest, and then took seven coppers.
When Yu Qingze asked him to put another jar onto the trolley in the morning, he didn’t think that someone would buy sour beans alone. He was surprised that Yu Qingze would sell them so expensively, but come to think of it, the sour beans have to be marinated for two or three days, with more effort put into than regular beans so, he guessed it’s worth the extra 2 coppers.
Seeing that capers can be bought individually, other customers have also bought half a catty or a catty each.
Within a short time, the big jar of sour beans was sold out. It is a pity for the guests who did not get to buy it, and they all reserved with the boss to buy it tomorrow.
Chang Le smiles so hard that you can’t even see his eyes but all teeth. This is more profitable than selling fresh beans.
Seeing Chang Le’s happy appearance and his eyes seemed to be filled with stars, looking very beautiful, Yu Qingze felt a little itchy in his heart, and tightened his hand holding the bamboo fence, he couldn’t help laughing.
Before Chang Hao and Grandpa Chang left, the two walked around the street and returned to the stall. The previous group of customers had finished eating, and no one knew them anymore, so they came back to help. Yu Qingze wishes you the best for reading on hololonovels.
Yu Qingze didn’t let them busy with the small stalls, and asked Grandpa Chang to take Chang Hao to the vegetable market to buy radishes. He had seen people selling them before. If the sour beans were selling well, the sour radishes would definitely sell better, so he let them buy as many as they could.
Capers and sour radishes are not that difficult to make, and they will definitely be copied by others in the near future. He has to make a fortune before it happens! When the price comes down from the saturated market, it won’t be so profitable anymore.
Seeing how busy they were, Grandpa Chang went shopping alone and asked Chang Hao to stay and help.
Chang Hao has a sweet mouth, and he’s very clever. With his help, Yu Qingze and Chang Le are more at ease.
“Customer, would you like a bowl of mung bean soup again? It’s just one copper for a bowl.”
“Isn’t it a gift?”
“It’s a gift for the first 50 customers. You are already the 68th. It’s very cheap. Just one copper will keep you cool and fresh all day. Would you like a bowl?”
“Then gimme a bowl.”
With Chen Hong, mung bean soup is sold a lot more.
Their food stall business was still booming as lunchtime approached.
On this North Street, there are always a lot of people coming and going. In addition to businessmen, locals also love to come here to buy food.
When people saw so many people surrounding a food stall and people who had eaten it said it was delicious, so they couldn’t help but try it.
Those who lived nearby even went home and brought their family members over so that they could also taste it, and some even went home quickly and brought back a bowl to buy for their family to eat.
On this hot day, once someone has tasted the deliciousness of cold noodles, they no longer want to eat that hot noodle soup. After being tortured by the hot summer for so long, they finally saw the light of day!
There is a new food stall on North Street, called ‘Yu Ji Yi Xian’, which sells cold noodles and Liangpi, and rumors that it tastes good, spread throughout the North Street in just half a day.
There are many shops selling food on the North Street. There are five or six noodle restaurants alone. Among them, Wang Ji Noodle Restaurant and Liu Ji Noodle Restaurant have the best business, and the two have been competitors for many years.
The owner of Liu Ji Noodle House is called Liu Liangping, who is tall and thin; the owner of Wang Ji Noodle House is called Wang Anfu, who is chubby and looks very kind.
At this time, Boss Wang was standing at the door of Liu Ji Noodle Shop, folded his arms and looked at the hot cold noodle food stall diagonally opposite with his old rival.
“What do you think?” Boss Wang raised his chin towards the cold noodle stall and said.
Boss Liu snorted and said disdainfully: “*If you can’t get on the table, you can’t change the situation, it’s nothing to worry about.”
*(T/N: 上不了台面，成不了气候, a saying or something. I’m not sure about this part either.)
Boss Wang raised his eyebrows and said with a smile: “As soon as they arrived, they took away all our guests. At least 20% of the guests are missing from my place.”
Boss Liu gave him a sideways look and said, “Why, Fatty Wang, are you afraid?”
Boss Wang nodded and said, “A little bit, I’ll go take a look, do you want to go?”
Boss Liu snorted coldly, turned back to the noodle restaurant, and showed his disdain with his actions.
Boss Wang saw that his old rival would not go, so he went to the food stall leisurely.
Liu Ji Noodle Restaurant’s junior saw that Boss Wang was gone and saw his own boss stretched his neck and looked over at the window, so he asked, “Boss, do you want to go and have a look? I heard that they sell cold noodles and Liangpi and they’re very good, many of our old customers have gone to eat.”
When Boss Liu heard Xiao Er’s words, he immediately stood up straight, frowned and waved his hand, “Go, go, everything is up to you!” Then he looked over there again.
Xiao Er heard the words, turned around, rolled his eyes, and he pulled off the cloth on his shoulders and was about to leave the store.
“Ehhh, come back.” Boss Liu stopped Xiao Er again.
Xiao Er turned around, his face quickly filled with a smile, and flattered: “Boss, what’s the matter? You tell me.”
Boss Liu glanced at him with a frown, raised his chin reluctantly and ordered, “Go, buy a bowl and bring it back.”
Xiao Er asked: “Do you want to buy cold noodles or Liangpi?”
Boss Liu said irritably: “Your brain is in vain! Buy them all! Go!”
“Okay, the little one will go now.” The little Er smiled and said, “Boss, look, that … money…”
Boss Liu took out ten coppers and threw it to Xiao Er, and said angrily, “Go!”
Xiao Er waited in line for a while before bringing back the cold noodles.
Boss Liu asked Xiao Er to carry the bowls into the breakroom behind the shop. Then he sat down slowly, looked at the red and green in the bowl, and said with disdain: “Hmmph! This is it? Only some shredded cucumbers and beans, not a piece of meat, and it actually sells for five coppers! Those people have never eaten noodles?”
Xiao Er murmured in his heart that no matter how bad the food was, the business was booming, but he carefully took the chopsticks and handed them to the boss, and said, “That’s right, they are too blind!”
Boss Liu was very satisfied with Xiao Er’s sense of survival, took the chopsticks, and began to eat with a reluctant expression on his face.
At the beginning, he had an expression of disgust, ready to take a bite and then ‘comment’ it well.
Who knew that after taking one bite, he was unable to speak; after taking another bite, he frowned, but he unknowingly finished a small bowl of cold noodles in no time.
“Boss, how is it?” Little Er asked carefully.
How? How else!
Boss Liu pushed away the empty bowl in front of him in a very bad mood and dragged the bowl of Liangpi over.
He had never seen something like Liangpi, but before he could figure out how to make it, he accidentally ate the entire bowl.
When he realized it, Boss Liu’s face darkened.
The psychological blow far outweighs the unhappiness of being robbed of business.
At this time, Xiao Er asked again, “Boss, how is it?”
“What’s the matter! Have you got nothing to do? Go out and do something!”
Xiao Er walked away in despair, scolding the boss in his heart as he walked that he deserved to be robbed of business.
Boss Liu looked unhappy and was in a gloomy mood. Over there, Boss Wang also returned to his shop with a dignified and thoughtful look after eating a bowl of Liangpi.
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