By saying that, Su Tang wasn’t trying to give Jiang He instructions on how to make the fish balls, rather, she said this to tell Jiang He that he shouldn’t think of making the fish balls himself to save money because making them actually consumed a lot of time and energy.
The couple’s noodle stall currently only offered shredded meat noodles, shredded chicken noodles, and plain noodles. Plus their children were still young so they were the only two people who could work at the stall, which meant that they were very busy every day with mixing noodles and preparing ingredients. If they wanted to make fish balls on top of that, they would never have a moment to rest.
And even if they did make their own fish balls, not even mentioning whether they could make them into such a uniform size or make them taste so good, just the time it took them to make the fish balls might affect their current products, so their losses would probably outweigh any gains.
After hearing what Su Tang said, Jiang He only had to think about it for a moment before he looked at Su Tang, “How much do you want for these fish balls? And what do you mean by ‘providing them to us on a regular basis’?”
When she heard him ask those questions, Su Tang knew everything was going well and, internally, she breathed a sigh of relief. But she was careful not to let that show on her face as she began to speak again.
She said, “Big brother you have seen that my fish balls are all about the same size. I don’t care what you want to charge for them but my price selling them to you is two copper coins for every three fish balls.”
She then continued, “Because the process of making them is difficult I can only make about a hundred fish balls a day, depending on what kind of fish they are made from.”
“If big brother is interested, I brought thirty fish balls with me today. You can put them in your stall and try selling them until noon. If they all sell out by then, big brother will pay me for them at the price I mentioned. And if you can’t sell them, I’ll take them back. Does that sound good?”
Su Tang made her suggestion quickly and she sounded very sincere. She knew that small vendors were different from big restaurants because, for small vendors, they had to think seriously about how they spent every copper coin. If she asked Jiang He to buy the fish balls up front, she knew that he would be hesitant.
But by offering to do it like this, Jiang He would not have any costs at all, so naturally he wouldn’t hesitate. Later, when he sees that his business could really be improved by her fish balls, even if Su Tang didn’t ask him he would definitely be willing to buy her fish balls up front.
Jiang He thought about it for just a moment before he agreed.
When Su Tang saw that he agreed she directly handed over all the fish balls in her hands to Jiang He. As he received them, Jiang He seemed surprised that she was so trusting. “Is it okay to be so at ease?”
“I believe in big brother and big sister’s character.” Su Tang said with a smile.
She had not just randomly chosen her partner. Did he think that she had just been wasting her time while she was wandering up and down East Street? Plus, even if she couldn’t personally find anything out from her investigation, there was still the orange cat. The lively price war between Jiang He, Madam Qian, and her older brother was a hot topic in town right now so Su Tang was already pretty well-informed about their situation.
When she found out that people in town generally thought that this couple were people with good character, Su Tang to cooperate with them. Moreover, her fish balls did not cost much to make, so she wasn’t too worried. Plus, no matter what happened, selling this batch of fish balls today could be regarded as advertising for her, so she could afford the risk.
When Jiang He heard that Su Tang had so much trust in him he nodded happily and then went back to his stall with the fish balls to discuss things with Madam Qian. Madam Qian only had to deliberate briefly and then the couple put the fish balls up for sale.
By now, it was almost time for the students to come out of the academy for their lunches, so soon they would be coming out one after another to find something to eat.
Su Tang pulled Su Nuo to find a spot nearby. Then she asked Su Nuo to take out the wild peaches he had picked and sell them next to Jiang He’s stall.
Jiang He and his wife didn’t say anything about the siblings actions. They were busy because, as soon as they saw people coming, they started shouting, “Delicious noodles. Today, our noodle stand has fresh fish balls, fresh and tender! A fish ball bigger than an egg and it only costs one copper coin. They go well with our chicken noodle soup!”
The couple were trying to do business so, obviously, their shouts to attract guests were not quiet. When Madam Qian’s brother and his wife heard the couple shouting, they also started shouting, “Delicious noodles, two copper coins for a bowl of chicken noodle soup!”
They two stalls both started yelling one after another and it was a bit hilarious. But soon a student came over because he heard Jiang He’s shouting. He took a look at the fish balls and saw that, indeed, each fish ball was not too small, so he walked over and said, “Give me a bowl of plain noodles and a fish ball.”
When Jiang He and his wife heard the guest, they hurriedly agreed, quickly made a bowl of plain noodles, fished out a fish ball and added it into the bowl, and then brought it over to the student.
This student did not come from a very wealthy family which was why he liked to come to these two noodle stalls, they were both nearby and they sold a large amount of food affordably. Spending three copper coins a day to eat noodles with meat was not too bad and, later, when he saw noodles with meat in the next stall over went down to only two copper coins he started eating there instead.
But by now he was a bit tired of eating the same thing every day for so long so, today, when he saw one stall now had fish balls in addition to their noodles, he decided to come and try them. A bowl of plain noodles only cost two copper coins, plus a copper coin for a fish ball, so it was still an acceptable price. First he ate the noodles and then he took a bite of the fish ball. The excellent taste conquered him instantly and he downed the fish ball in just two bites. After hesitating for a long time, he took out an extra copper coin and said, “Boss, give me another fish ball.”
When Madam Qian and Jiang He saw his reaction they were overjoyed. They quickly took his money and gave him another fish ball. One after another, some students who wanted to try out their new food came over to eat. Basically, anyone who tried Su Tang’s fish balls wouldn’t be able to help but buy another one after eating the first. One after another they exclaimed about how good they were.
One person said, “Boss, these fish balls are really delicious, there are no bones at all. Do you sell these fish balls alone? My grandmother used to like to eat fish but now she is so old that her teeth aren’t good anymore. She usually can’t eat fish anymore because of the bones so these fish balls seem really suitable for her.”
There were also some students who wanted to buy the fish balls to take home to their relatives. Madam Qian and Jiang He watched with joy as their business exploded above and beyond any of the other street stalls on East Street. Soon the thirty fish balls were all sold out.
“We’ve already sold all our stock for today so now there are no more. We will have more fish ball tomorrow so, if you want to buy more, you can book some with us in advance. We will fulfill any orders.”
Needless to say, the couple knew that today’s business was much better than before and they both had wide smiles on their faces.
When the people heard that they could make an advance order some of them really started to do just that. For instance, the man who said he wanted to buy some for his grandma, he really gave Jiang He and Madam Qian some money for tomorrow’s order. “Then I’ll order ten fish balls. I’ll send someone to come and get them tomorrow.”
The one who spoke was the youngest son of a rich family from town so he didn’t waste any words, he just directly gave them ten copper coins. After all, Jiang He and his wife had already been running their stall here for two years now so everyone knew their character and no one was worried they would cheat the money.
When Jiang He took the money he couldn’t help glancing at Su Tang, who was still selling wild peaches next to their stall, out of the corner of his eye. When he looked, he saw that the siblings didn’t seem to be able to sell any of their peaches and all the students walking by did not pay attention to them at all.
But even though that little girl seemed like she wasn’t doing well, just by selling her fish balls she had instantly earned twenty copper coins. Coupled with the fact that his stall had sold more noodles today, Jiang He had already made a decision in his hearts. He would work with that little girl no matter what.
Because of the news, many students were attracted to come over and take a look. For some of them, when they heard that the fish balls had been sold out they left while saying they would take another look tomorrow, while others didn’t want to bother to leave after walking all the way over, so they ate a bowl of noodles because they were already there.
By the time lunch time passed, Jiang He and his wife found that they had sold twice as many bowls of noodles as before.
Naturally, Su Tang had seen all this and she was not surprised at all. She knew that this was a different time and space compared to her previous life, but because the people in this land had a similar cultural background and language they had the same weaknesses as the people in her previous life did. That is to say, they were all foodies.