Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

An Old Man And His Craft

old man

During my vacation to Hong Kong last week, I made a day trip with my wife to nearby Macau. As we walked past Senado Square, I saw this very old man slaving away over his charcoal-fired oven in his dark side-alley shopfront. He was painstakingly making egg rolls, dropping 5 small balls of egg batter each time in each cast iron griddle. When they were done, he’d pop the piping-hot pastry out and drop them into a metal tray.

The smell was heavenly, and we bought a pound of these simple egg pastries for 10 Macau dollars. Some shops down the row, there was the far more famous Pastelaria Koi Kei, which has grown to a chain of stores all over Macau (and swarmed by tourists). They sold the same egg rolls, in multiple flavours, in fantastic packaging.

I couldn’t help but think what would happen when the old man passed on. In all likelihood, his craft and his skill will go with him. I wonder if he ever regretted not expanding like his competitors?

I don’t have the answer, but I mourn the day when we lose all these skilled craftsmen when we move with the times.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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