Chapter 42: The Culinary Tycoon

Celebrity Effect and Reservations

In the southern part of the city, inside the Zhao family’s mansion, the steward was busy counting and registering the festival gifts. During every New Year and holiday season, this was their busiest time. They had to meticulously count and record the gifts received from each household, noting what each gift contained, in order to assist the master of the house in deciding what gifts to send. They also had to register the gifts prepared by their own family, creating a dedicated record.

While registering the festival gifts received from the Cai family, the steward picked up the last box of pastries and examined the name and the pastry’s type before recording it: a box of “Yu’s Delicious Delights” mooncakes.

Mooncakes? Wasn’t “Yu’s Delicious Delights” a food stall that had recently opened? The steward opened the box, realizing it was a variety of pastries he had never seen before. He closed the box and handed it to the servant next to him, saying, “These are the pastries sent by the Cai family. I’ve never seen them before. Take them to madam and young master to taste.”

The servant took the box and left, while the steward continued with his registration.

Shortly after, the servant returned, informing the steward that madam Zhou was looking for him. The steward immediately went to see him.

“These pastries taste quite good. I’ve never had them before. Has a new pastry shop opened in the city? I don’t recall any shop named ‘Yu’s Delicious Delights’,” said the mistress of the Zhao family, who was feeding a three or four-year-old child bean paste mooncake as he saw the steward approaching.

The steward promptly replied, “Madam, I haven’t heard of any pastry shop called Yu’s Delicious Delights in the city, apart from the Yu’s Delicious Delights noodle shop. But they don’t specialize in pastries.”

“Who sent these?”

“They were sent by the Cai family, madam.”

“Oh? The Cai family,” Madam Zhou straightened up and pondered for a moment. He then said, “Inquire about where they bought them. Let’s try something new. We’ve been receiving the same pastries from the same few families every year, and I’m getting tired of them. Also, buy a few more boxes and send one to each courtyard.”

The steward bowed and replied, “Yes, madam.”

Similar scenes unfolded in many grand residences that received festival gifts from the Cai family.


In the afternoon, after the busy lunchtime rush subsided a bit, Yu Qingze and his team finally had a moment to rest. Although they didn’t sell many mooncakes, their business for cold noodles, liangpi, and Guandong Zhu remained good. They were still bustling with activity.

“Boss Yu, Brother Le, and father I brought back the noodles. Come and eat,” Brother Chang said as he returned from Liu’s noodle shop across the street. This was their lunch.

“Brother Le, Uncle, you go ahead and eat. I’ll join you in a moment,” Yu Qingze quickly packed the Guandong Zhu that a customer ordered, collected the money, and then finally sat on a small stool to eat.

The four of them sat under the shade of an umbrella, enjoying their delayed lunch.

“In the future, let’s take turns to have our meals. Eating too late isn’t good for our health,” Yu Qingze swallowed a mouthful of noodles and suggested.

Brother Chang’s father replied, “We can’t afford to take the time. Lunchtime is our busiest period. It’s not a problem to eat a bit later.”

Brother Chang chimed in, “Yeah, it’s not much of a delay. We’ve gotten used to it, and we usually feel hungry around this time. When we’re busy, we don’t even notice the hunger.”

Chang Le nodded in agreement.

Yu Qingze looked at them, sighed, and said, “You’ve all been working hard.”

The group shook their heads and continued eating. There were still a few customers at the table, so they had to eat quickly.

Just then, a middle-aged man walked over and his eyes lit up when he saw the mooncake gift boxes on a small table. He asked Yu Qingze, “Boss, can I take a look at your mooncakes?”

Yu Qingze immediately got up upon seeing someone interested in the mooncakes and replied, “Of course, come here, sir. We have samples for you to taste. There are several flavors. Which one would you like?”

The middle-aged man tried each flavor and then picked up the mooncake gift box. He found the same name on it as the one on the gift box he had at home, so he happily asked, “Boss, how much are these mooncakes? The ones in these packaged boxes.”

Yu Qingze answered, “The Four Seasons Prosperity gift box is 108 wen per box, the Five Blessings at the Door gift box is 128 wen per box, the Six Harmony gift box is 168 wen per box, the Seven Stars Radiance gift box is 198 wen per box, and we also have the Perfect Harmony Super Deluxe gift box for 288 wen per box. These are all premium packaging options, perfect for giving as Mid-Autumn Festival gifts.”

The middle-aged man widened his eyes and exclaimed, “Why are they so expensive?”

Yu Qingze explained, “Sir, you see, our pastries have thin crusts and generous fillings. They are different from the ones you find elsewhere. Not to mention the effort and expensive high-quality ingredients that go into making them. Most importantly, the taste is unique. We aim for that uniqueness, and besides, the symbolism behind them is also quite meaningful, don’t you think?”

The middle-aged man seemed hesitant and looked at the other options nearby. He asked, “Why is the packaging different for these?”

Yu Qingze replied, “These ones have a deluxe packaging, which is a bit more cost-effective compared to the premium packaging. Each box is 20 wen cheaper.”

“Then what about for one single mooncake?”

“The small ones are 8 wen each, and the large ones are 16 wen each.”

“Boss, the difference in price is too significant,” the middle-aged man said, pointing at the singles and packaged mooncakes, astonished.

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

Yu Qingze chuckled and said, “Sir, people are different, and mooncakes can be different too.”

The middle-aged man hesitated for a moment and then said, “Give me some time to consider.”

Yu Qingze smiled and replied, “Sure, but please consider it quickly. We don’t have much inventory left.”

The middle-aged man waved his hand and walked away. Yu Qingze saw him walking towards a carriage and speaking to someone inside through the window. Yu Qingze chuckled softly and turned back to continue eating his noodles.

Chang Le and the other two secretly listened to Yu Qingze’s conversation with the customer. Now that the customer had left, they all sighed and said, “Ah, he’s gone again.”

Seeing Yu Qingze sitting back down, Chang Le put his chopsticks on the plate and gestured with his right hand, asking, “He left again?”

Yu Qingze glanced in that direction and smiled, saying, “It’s fine. I think he’ll come back, and who knows, he might be a big customer.”

All three of them stared at him in astonishment.

When they heard Yu Qingze’s individual pricing for the mooncakes, they were shocked. It was so expensive! The small mooncakes the size of a child’s fist cost 8 wen each, while the larger ones cost 16 wen each, but they were even bigger than an adult’s fist.

When they heard the price of the boxed mooncakes, they were completely dumbfounded. They thought there was something wrong with their ears and confirmed it three times before finally accepting that their ears were fine and it was Yu Qingze’s mind that was messed up.

They hadn’t sold a single box of mooncakes in the morning. They only sold the singles, and even those didn’t sell much.

They couldn’t understand why. The mooncakes were so delicious, and if they were priced similar to other pastry shops, they would have sold out in no time. Even if the small ones were priced at 5 wen and the large ones at 8 wen, they would have sold a lot.

But now, with such high prices, 8 wen for the small ones and 16 wen for the large ones, even the single mooncakes didn’t sell well, let alone the boxed ones.

They felt it was such a pity, but they didn’t dare say it out loud, especially Brother Chang and his father. They could only think to themselves and comfort themselves by saying that there must be a reason behind Yu Qingze’s actions.

Chang Le did ask once, and Yu Qingze said that people would buy them, so he believed him.

But now, seeing the poor business, they couldn’t help but worry. They were so worried that they couldn’t even enjoy the delicious fried sauce noodles in front of them.

Yu Qingze reached out and tapped Chang Le’s forehead, saying, “Don’t furrow your brows. I said someone will buy them. Trust me, hmm?”

The sudden intimate gesture startled Chang Le, and he quickly reached out to cover his forehead, his face turning red.

Wait, Brother Chang’s father was right there!

Although he felt embarrassed, there was a hint of sweetness in his heart. It was really maddening.

Yu Qingze also felt a bit stunned after he did it. It was a completely subconscious action. He quickly glanced at Brother Chang and his father and found that they were tactfully pretending to lower their heads and eat their noodles, not looking up at all. He smiled at Chang Le to indicate that everything was fine.

Chang Le kept his head down and didn’t look at him.

Yu Qingze: …I should be more careful next time.


Just then, the middle-aged man from earlier returned, accompanied by a servant boy.

“Ah, you’re back!” Yu Qingze responded.

Chang Le and the other two looked at the customer in astonishment.

He really came back?!

Suddenly, none of them felt like eating anymore. They perked up their ears, listening to the commotion over there.

The middle-aged man pointed at the premium packaged mooncakes and said, “Two boxes of each variety of these, and two boxes of each variety of these. Then, I want to select some flavors from the single ones.”

“Alright, take your time to choose. Once you’re done, I’ll pack them for you,” Yu Qingze replied.

Upon hearing that the customer wanted so many mooncakes, Chang Le and the others quickly put down their chopsticks and came over to help.

All three of them were extremely shocked. This was truly a big customer!

Their inventory was suddenly reduced by half!

The middle-aged man also chose quite a few single mooncakes, with various flavors and sizes. After counting, there were thirty small ones and twenty large ones.

Yu Qingze quickly calculated the total on paper, which came to 3,920 wen.

The middle-aged man also used an abacus to double-check the calculation, confirmed its accuracy, and then paid with silver.

The three of them helped the servant boy to carefully place the mooncakes on the carriage and, upon returning, Chang Le and the others were all dumbfounded, laughing.

“Someone really bought them!” Brother Chang’s father exclaimed.

Brother Chang also felt like he was dreaming, but having been working outside for a long time, he had a bit more insight than his father. He said, “Wealthy people don’t care about the price; they care about rarity.”

Chang Le nodded happily, unable to contain his joy.

Yu Qingze collected the money and looked at Chang Le, saying, “Feeling relieved now? I told you someone would buy them.”

Chang Le excitedly nodded and gestured, “I’ve always believed in you!”

Yu Qingze chuckled. Wasn’t it him who had been so worried before? But things changed so quickly! Ah!

Not long after the middle-aged man left, two more people arrived who also wanted to buy mooncakes. These two customers bought a lot as well, and their remaining stock was completely depleted.

While these two customers were still there, three more people arrived. Seeing that the mooncakes were sold out, they sighed in disappointment, saying they had arrived too late.

Yu Qingze quickly said, “If you’re not in a hurry, you can make a reservation and come back tomorrow morning to pick them up.”

Those three individuals quickly agreed, made reservations for a specific quantity, and paid a partial deposit. They took the note that Yu Qingze had written and left.

Afterward, several more people came one after another to buy mooncakes. Yu Qingze estimated the quantity they had made at home today and realized that accepting a few more orders would likely leave them short. He informed the customers about the situation. Some of them wanted to use the mooncakes as gifts, as tomorrow was the 14th, the final day for gift-giving. If they couldn’t get their orders in time, they decided to settle for single ones for their own consumption and planned to come to collect them on the 15th.

By the time they closed up shop, not only had they sold out all the mooncakes that hadn’t sold well in the morning, but they had also taken reservations for the following two days.

Chang Le and the others had smiles in their eyes, no longer doubting any of Yu Qingze’s decisions.

When they calculated the accounts at night, Yu Qingze told Chang Le and Grandpa Chang that they had earned over seven taels of silver just from the mooncakes today, and that was pure profit, not including the portion from the Cai family and the reserved orders.

Hearing that they had earned so much money, all three of them stared at Yu Qingze with wide eyes, unable to believe it.

They had made over seven taels of silver in just one day!

Could they have ever imagined such a thing before?

They wouldn’t even dare to think about it!


Thandar: I’d buy them all if it’s Boss Yu who made it #BlindTrustInOurMC

1 Comment

  1. Aprillen says:

    Yu Qingze, culinary *and* business genius 🤔
    Thank you for the chapter!

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