• Nabil Malik

See how hawkers like Seoul Shiok benefitted from the Emerald Programme

Updated: May 13


Say you’re craving for a nice warm serving of Korean army stew, but your makan kakis have decided to have Mala Xiang Guo instead. You relent. You try to convince them otherwise. You’re angry, distraught, anything but pleased because your cravings for the kimchi-based stew are not fulfilled. Well fret not (unless you’re already fretting, then stop fretting).


If you happen to be in Ang Mo Kio, Seng Kang, or Pasir Ris, then you’re in luck!

Founded June 2017 in a humble coffee shop located at Block 154 of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, Seoul Shiok boasts an extensive menu. From Korean Chicken Wings to Bulgogi Rice Bowls to even Japchae, a glass-noodle dish which was originally a royal fare. If that isn’t enough to impress you, their Army Stew comes with more than 15 ingredients to customise your stew with.


They also famous for selling Army Stew in a much more manageable serving for solo diners, at less than $10.


So you will never have to bear the burden of eating Mala Xiang Guo when all you ever wanted was Army Stew ever again.



UNLIKELY ROUTES


Enter franchise founders, Cheryl Sou and Roxanne Yeo, two Bachelor's degree holders who had no prior experience in the hawker industry.


When asked what customers tend to say to them, both university graduates, Cheryl and Roxanne, said in unison, “Wah so young ah.”


They may be young, but their maturity and business ambition definitely exceeds their age. The two came up with the concept of Seoul Shiok during the Korean Wave, when the Korean cuisine craze was also reaching its peak, especially Army Stew.


Yet they realised that no Army Stews were being sold in neighbourhood areas, and that they were all concentrated in the Tanjong Pagar vicinity. And to make matters worse, Army Stew was a communal dish - a dish meant to be shared with joy, just like the joy of sharing this beautiful gem of a hawker stall with you.


So they decided to sell it at servings good for one person, enabling the dish to be cheaper and enjoyed by you, and only you.



A STEW-PENDOUS JOURNEY


With multiple features on newspapers such as The Straits Times and Shin Min Daily News, as well as on blogs such as Eatbook and DISCOVERSG, it’s safe to say that they’ve reached a level of recognition.


Add the fact that they’ve now opened 2 outlets and you’d be convinced that the owners are experienced hawkers.


But it wasn’t so easy for them in the beginning. Cheryl recalls the struggle of having to set up multiple WhatsApp groups with numerous suppliers. That was on top of the hassle of manually punching out product codes and ensuring that the minimum order has been met even before they could even receive the item. They didn’t even receive benefits as hawkers.


Until at long last, their savior, in the form of Grab’s Emerald Programme in collaboration with Zeemart descended upon them.




"The prices are actually quite cheap, you can just pick anything from the different suppliers within that list and get them delivered within 1 or 2 days."

Cheryl Sou, Owner of Seoul Shiok



Ever since then, the bane of going through multiple suppliers just to get one item at a price without discount (imagine all that hassle just to pay ridiculous prices), having to keep up with multiple invoices, and not being able to track their orders from the multiple outlets were gone. All they needed to do now, was to go onto Zeemart, and pick out their wanted item from the list of products offered by Grab Emerald, for prices that Cheryl describes to be “actually quite cheap”. So, cheaper prices, one app to facilitate all their supply needs, complete with their orders and invoice tracking? What’s there not to love about Zeemart’s partnership with GrabFood? Find out more about the Grab Emerald Programme for food merchants here, and how you can join in too.


In the meantime, remember to put your army boots on and march on down to any one of their 3 outlets to get your korean fix:



Zeemart is Singapore’s first B2B platform for the Horeca industry, with a single-minded mission to enable businesses to make smarter purchasing decisions. Our platform connects buyers and suppliers through a simple interface, making discovery, purchasing and communicating more powerful and easier than before.

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