n a bustling market of Pyin Oo Lwin, there is a fruit stall that has been run by the same family for generations. The stall offers an array of fresh fruits, some of which are grown in the family's own farmlands. The current owner of the stall is the 53-year-old, Daw Thin Thin. Who’s story  is a fascinating look into the life of someone who has found success in running their own business. Read further to find out some of her advice for aspiring business owners.

Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay division

Pyin Oo Lwin is a town in the Mandalay Division of Myanmar, near the Shan State border. It is known for its colonial-era buildings, including the Purcell Tower and the Botanical Gardens. Pyin Oo Lwin was founded in 1877 as a British hill station, and it became a popular summer retreat for colonial officials. Pyin Oo Lwin is also known for its many flowers and gardens, making it a popular destination for nature lovers. The area's cooler climate makes it ideal for growing temperate fruits and vegetables.

The Fruit Stall in the Market

Daw Thin Thin's fruit stall sells a wide variety of fresh fruits, including apples, oranges, bananas, and mangoes. The stall is  located in the Myo Ma market, which is situated near the Purcell tower in the town of Pyin oo lwin. Myo Ma market is a bustling place, full of color and life. It's the perfect place to find fresh fruits and vegetables.

 The Hardworking owner of the Fruit Stall

Daw Thin Thin is 53 years old and has three daughters, two of whom are married. The family business is her life, and she works tirelessly to keep it running smoothly. She is from Hsipaw township, Shan state, and moved to Pyin Oo Lwin when she was 13 years old. Her hard work has paid off - the business is thriving, and her daughters are all doing well in their chosen fields. Daw Thin Thin is a passionate fruit seller who is always keen to chat with her customers and offer advice on how to select the best fruits. Her friendly nature and excellent service have made her fruit stall a popular destination for locals.

The humble beginnings of the Fruit Stall

Daw Thin Thin says that starting a business is never an easy task. There are so many things to think about; customers, vendors, what products or services to . For her, it was simply a matter of starting small. With just 20,000 kyats (about 13 USD), she started selling fruit as a vendor in a local market.

The story of how the fruit stall became a success

She quickly gained a loyal following of customers who appreciated her low prices and friendly service. Over time, she was able to expand her business by adding more fruit stalls around the city. She learned quickly from her customers' feedback and started to change her services to better reflect what people wanted. Then, she slowly started to make more and more money as she built up a loyal customer base who appreciated her honest business practices. While she may have started with only 20,000 kyats, she is now a successful businesswoman. 

The daily process of the Fruit Stall

Every morning, at 5 am sharp, Daw Thin Thin and her family open up the fruit stall for business. The first thing she does is to check all the fruits and discard any that are over-ripe or beginning to spoil. She then arranges the remaining fruits neatly, grouping them by type. Throughout the day, she keeps a close eye on the fruits, making sure that they are still fresh and appealing to customers. Whenever a customer makes a purchase, she wraps the fruit up carefully and hands it over with a smile. At the end of the day,about 6 pm in the evening she closes up her stall and goes home, ready to do it all again the next day.

She sources some of her fruits from her own farm,at the Kyi Kai village, Pyin Oo lwin which is managed by her husband U Lwan Moe. On their farm, they grow dragon fruits, pineapples, and other fruits based on the season. Some of the fruits are sourced from a fruit distributor from the Mandalay division.

This daily routine is punctuated by two days off each month when the stall owner takes a well-earned break. These days, she catches up on sleep, cooks herself some delicious meals, and spends time with her family and friends. However, even on her days off, she can't help but think about her beloved fruit stall and all the buyers that visit it each day.

Expanding through Social Media 

The fruit stall's business has been booming ever since Daw Thin Thin's youngest daughter started promoting it on social media. The marketing photos, videos, and contents she posts are very eye-catching, and she has even made contacts with delivery services all over the country. This has not only increased the stall's customer base, but also its reputation. People can order fruits from the stall no matter where they are, and they know that they will receive fresh quality products. Thanks to the creative use of social media and delivery service, Daw Thin Thin's fruit stall is more popular than ever before.

The challenges and rewards of owning a fruit stall

Daw Thin Thin said that "Opening a fruit stall can be a daunting but ultimately rewarding experience." On the one hand, there is a lot of work involved in sourcing fresh fruit and keeping the stall well-stocked. But in return, there is a great sense of satisfaction that comes from running a successful business and providing buyers with delicious, fresh and healthy food. Perhaps the biggest challenge of owning a fruit stall is dealing with perishable goods. Fruit must be carefully selected and stored to ensure that it stays fresh for as long as possible. This can be a challenge, but it is also an opportunity to learn about different fruits and how to best care for them. The rewards of owning a fruit stall go beyond financial gain. There is also a great sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from running a successful business.

Sale condition before and during COVID

Sale conditions have changed dramatically all over Myanmar and also Pyin Oo Lwin over the past year. Prior to COVID-19, people were able to buy expensive fruits at markets. However, during the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and businesses closed, leaving people unable to afford expensive fruits at the food market. This has forced Daw Thin Thin Fruit stall to sell fruits outside of the market, where they can't make as much profit. The situation has become even more difficult since the military coup in February 2021. Many people are afraid to leave their homes, so vendors are not selling as many fruits as they used to. This has been a hard time for fruit vendors, So she is hoping that conditions will improve soon.

The ups and downs of this fruit stall owner's life are representative of the challenges and opportunities faced by small business owners all over the world. Despite the difficulties, she has not given up on her dream and continues to work hard every day to make her business a success. Her story is an inspiration to all.


August 30, 2023