This provision shop used to serve its community. Fifty years on, it’s ready to close its shutters for good.
Thin Huat is a family-run provision shop in Singapore, a humble business run by a down-to-earth couple for more than five decades.
Their service is an antiquated concept for our modern age — purchasing small quantities, freshly grated coconut, no labelling on its aisles, no uniformed cashiers, credit terms written on paper, no fancy packaging, no queue at the counters, no air-conditioning.
Thin Huat and small provision shops alike may not hold out much longer.
They cannot compete with chain supermarkets, cannot offer competitive wages. Operational costs are rising rapidly.
The owners concede that the end is near.
We may lament its eventual disappearance, but it’s a practical reality they have to face as times change.
At least, before these homely shops are gone, we have a chance to witness their service to the neighbourhood.
‘Provision Shop’ won the Royal Reel Award at the Canada International Film Festival. It featured as the official selection for the Cornwall Film Festiva, Media Film Festival, and the Green Bay Film Festival.