A Summer job turned into Million Dollars

by shirls on September 2, 2007 · 2 comments in 加拿大自助游记,多伦多自助游记,自助游记和提示

(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。

当Ed告诉此故事时,我也没把它放在心上。只是,当我们抵达时,我才真正见识到此汉堡包档莫名的魔力。不是它的汉堡包特别好吃,而是它那惊人超级长的两条人龙。排队的人有超过百人以上,而且走了吃饱了的,又有新顾客。队伍一直维持相同的长度。

我突然间感到莫名的兴奋。因为,从没试过这么‘热闹’地排队买汉堡包吃。Ed见到人龙要掉头走。我怂恿Ed留下来排队等。反正,等的时候我可以拍拍照给这部落格。所幸,这汉堡包档已结合现代经营手段。有充足的人手,都是年轻小人,播放流行音乐。一切是那么地有秩序,有效率。不到二十分钟,我们已在吃着新鲜热腾腾的汉堡包。

听说,那个以前的小伙子已是百万富翁。他还在高速公路上建了全Ontario省唯一一个私人公司拥有的人行天桥。天桥的另一边也有一个停车场,这是让回家的人也可以轻易的来吃汉堡包。他也开始包装他们的汉堡包,现在在各大超级市场可以买到现成的。真是有生意头脑!

坦白说,它的汉堡包不过如此。如此的人龙,原来是这些人自小随父母去渡假,这种停在高速公路边享用汉堡包的童年美丽记忆已根深蒂固。在此吃汉堡包是重温那另人追忆的童年。这种回味是外人无法了解的。Ed邀请我们到她cottage渡假的朋友如是。相信跟着她的孩子将来也不会例外地成为这汉堡包档的常客。我想,我也已上了迷。将来去吃时,我会回忆我在多伦多的第一次cottage假期。

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.

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