(Dear English readers, please scroll down to find the ‘click’ for English translation)
上周末，Ed带我去尝尝加拿大人的’茅舍’ （cottage) 假期。他朋友的家族在北上靠湖边有一个别致的渡假屋。我们就占了这个便宜也去一起去玩玩。
暂不谈这假期，先要谈去cottage 路上的一件奇事, 也是一个生意奇迹。
话说，四十多年前，在多伦多北部郊外地方，一个父亲担心儿子在暑假三个月无所事事。于是，在一条北上渡假的高速公路(Highway 11) 的路边开了一个简陋的汉堡包档摊给儿子卖汉堡包。只为了他有点事做。此档只在夏天才做生意, 暑假后儿子要回学校上课。怎知，这父亲的生意眼光独到。这汉堡包档摊的生意出奇的好。这四十多年来，成为众多多伦多人在北上渡假的中途充饥站。
Last weekend, Ed introduced me to a popular Canadian lifestyle – cottage weekend away. One of his friend’s family owned a lakeside cottage north of Toronto. We were invited as well as self-invited to the cottage over last weekend.
I will write about the weekend in next post but I would like to share a business miracle that I learnt on our way there.
It all started about more than 40 years ago. A father in a small town north of Ontario worried and unhappy about his son was doing nothing during the school summer holiday. To give his son something to do, he opened a small hamburger stall right next to a highway (Highway 11) that is a common route to most cottages north of Ontario. The stall only opened during summer and after that the son had to go back to school. Surprisingly, this turned out to be a great idea and this stall attracted many customers stopped by to crap something to eat. Hence, for the last fourty odd years, this hamburger stall has become an extremely popular midway fast food stall for many Torontonians who travel to north.
When Ed told me about this story, I did not pay much attention until we reached the stall. I was shocked by the popularity and craziness of people at this small highway stall. It was just a tiny hut but with two very long line up! I think it might have about over one hundred people at one time. The customers kept coming and the line up maintained its length throughout the time we were there.
I suddenly felt unreasonably excited and wanted to line up for a hamburger though Ed against. I pursued him to stay and suggested that we could use the waiting to take some photos for this blog. Interestingly, though it looked like a small business, it had very efficient and fast service. Everything was very organised and the line up went very quickly and smoothly. In less than 20 minutes, we were already eating our hamburger in the park.
I heard that the young son forty years ago is already a millionaire. He also built the first and only privately owned bridge built over a public highway in the Province of Ontario. The other side of the bridge has a car park. This makes it very easy for the customers who are going home from their cottages to stopover for a quickie meal. The company also packaged their hamburger properly and has pushed to grocery store shelves !
Frankly, the hamburger itself is not any special. What really special is beautiful childhood memories of most people who go there to eat. Eating at this store is sentimental. It reminds them of the time when they were kids, how excited they were going to the cottage with family. This is something others would not understand. As like Ed’s friend. She eat there since she was young and continue to eat there on the way to the cottage. She now has a son and he is eating there too. I think I will come back to eat at our next trip because it will also remind me of the wonderful memories I had at the cottage.