Not looking good:
“My rent is $6,000 [£4,555] a month. Three years ago, it was $1,400. But I’m not going to just walk away. I’m not going to give up. I will keep going for as long as I can.”
Chan’s mother still works at the factory, along with three part-time employees. The store used to sell to restaurants and hotels but it couldn’t compete with the bigger factories elsewhere in the US. Chan would charge $14 (£11) for a case containing 400 cookies.
It takes Chan’s factory around an hour and a half to produce one case of cookies. His staff work for eight or nine hours a day and are paid minimum wage - $15 an hour.
"There is no way I could make a profit. And then these other factories came along with modern technology.
“They use these fully automated machines. They can make 1m cookies in a day, individually wrapped, and sell a box of 400 for $8.95. I cannot compete with that.”
Chan describes his methods and machinery as “old-school style”. He has three traditional iron machines in his narrow factory; the oldest one is from 1956.
“It’s hard,” he continues. “Old school doesn’t exist in today’s technology. But I’m determined to keep the traditions going.”
Chan has switched from wholesale back to retail, and says even though keeping his factory open to tourists slows him and his workers down, he’s determined to keep welcoming customers.
and of course, the headshot:
Chan’s daughter isn’t interested in taking over the business, but the businessman says he’s not done just yet.