The opening of the $20 million Chan Mow market yesterday wasn’t just another expansion of the family business. It was a case of a son making his mother’s dream come true.
Businessman Komisi Chan Mow dedicated the project at Saleufi to his 86-year-old mother, Lotte.
Chan Mow said his mother wanted the family to build a market to offer shelter for farmers that are selling crops in the rain and sun.
“It was something that my mother wanted to give farmers a shelter to sell their produces,” he said. “She had always felt for the farmers that are selling their produce out in the sun and even in the rain and she wanted this because my parents started off with a plantation.
“She said to show some affection for the farmers who need shelter. So today, here it is mom - we have done what you wanted.”
Komisi said his mother started many plantations across the island and at Fasito’o. Today, she still works the Chan Mows Department store.
“She is used to serving people and that is what she likes to do - to meet and serve them.”
In an interview with the Sunday Samoan, Lotte Chan Mow said it saddened her to see farmers selling their produce without shelter.
“Farmers have nowhere to go to sell their produce and I wanted them to have access to a clean place to sell their goods,” she said. “I thank my children for making it possible and to our Father in Heaven for always being here to help us. We depend on him.”
The cost of the two-storey produce market together with the second phase that is yet to be completed is $20 million.
There are 200 stalls on the ground floor and 12 rooms on the top floor for hire.
The premises, Komisi said, exist to support plans by the Government to develop Apia.
“We are not trying to compete with the government; the project is to offer an alternative place for our people to sell their goods,” he said.
According to Chan Mow, it is $15 to rent a stall per day but the produce market will have an opening special on Monday to Wednesday where farmers are free of rent.
Komisi thanked his family for the continuous support and for the many companies and people that made the project possible.