Jul 26, 2012|
How did you become a candy seller?
I used to sell Thai desserts like thong yod and thong yib (egg yolk coated in syrup), then I started selling tinned snacks. Eventually, I decided to sell decorative candy, which I’ve done for about 15 years. I also have about 10 acres of farmland, so it’s not my only business.
Why do you do it?
I have a responsibility to take care of my two children, one of whom is a second-year uni student majoring in accounting, while the other is a second-year vocational student. My wife and I sell these finely-crafted candies, so that our family can live comfortably.
How do you make the candy?
First, I heat the glucose syrup in a pan, before adding more sugar for sweetness. Then I add various food colorings and pour the mixture into a pot separated into three sections. I shape the candy using my hands.
What is your typical day like?
I live in Soi Taksin 33, and I set off to start selling from 2:30pm through to the late evening. The first thing I do each morning is heat the glucose syrup and sugar for an hour in bulk, then for another half an hour on a smaller scale. I don’t have a regular stall site, though there are a couple of schools I often visit. I am used to taking the bus with all my kit. I generally don’t visit the same spot for two or three weeks.
Who are your customers?
Mostly kids. Whenever I set up in front of a school, the kids come straight up to me wondering what I’m doing. They find it so amusing and it really puts a smile on their faces. Their favorite model is one of a monkey fishing which comes in two pieces.
Do you have to practice your craft?
I usually practice new models for a couple of weeks before getting the hang of it. I have about 17 varieties right now, including a monkey, chicken, grasshopper, butterfly, heart and dragon. More and more kids began requesting Angry Birds candy, so I practiced that—my specialty is the triangular-shaped one. I like crafting the horse, it’s so beautiful. But the easiest is the monkey.
What’s your income?
It depends on the weather, really. My candy costs B10 for a small size, but this can rise to B20-B30 depending on the design. If it doesn’t rain, I can sell 100 items in one day. But with the higher living expenses nowadays, this could mean a profit of only B500.
Why do you like being a candy vendor?
With my old jobs, I belonged to my employers. This I can do off my own back. I know that if I work hard I will get a just reward, and if I slack off then I’m the one to suffer.