Small is beautiful

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I like ice cream. The one I liked most is not hagen daz, it’s a little known place called Ted Drewes. If you do a google search on “st. louis frozen custard”, it will show up on the top. It’s located at Chippewa, very close to my old apartment. This is a very popular place in St. Louis. In the summer evenings, you can see lots of people standing outside of this store, waiting in line or just eating the ice cream. This place opens even in Winter, here is its web site (warning, its’ web site is slow).

At one time I wondered that since this place is so successful, why not go ahead and expand, open more stores in St. Louis, if not nationally? Turns out the owners of Ted Drewes keep it small intentionlly, so that they can keep the quality and community feelings. For them as long as the business is doing well they feel they have enough to live on. In another words, they potentially give up the oppertunity to be very rich.

I think in China there are also similar stories, here is just one I saw yesterday. Remember the corner “noodle store”? Or “dumpling store”? We all have our favorite stores, right. I still remember one where I went for graduate school in Shanghai.

Unfortunately, last time when I visit Shanghai, I saw more and more franchized stores, I am not talking about, McDonald, KFC, Pizza Hut (those are well known ones); I am talking about “Chatea”, “Xiao Mie Yang”, etc. I am not against those, but I like the small specialty stores better.

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