The “Made in Macao” enterprise, Beansmaster, was chosen by Sands China Ltd. in 2012 to be one of its suppliers. The company is valued for its smooth and delicate bean pudding and bean curd. With its cooperation with Sands China, the local SME rapidly grew and has thrived over the last decade from its small booth beginnings to a shop and factory. The founder has now passed the torch to the next generation.
Founded by Mr. Chou Kai Lam in 2002, Beansmaster is a genuine “Made in Macao” brand. From raw material selection to packaging, the whole production procedure is done in Macau. It began with a “front shop, back factory” model initially in the Praia do Manduco district. As the business grew and the government’s requirements for food hygiene standards increased, the production line was transferred from the shop premises to industrial buildings in 2011.
Beansmaster has grown from two people to a current staff of 10, supplying fresh soybean products to integrated resort operators, supermarkets and local restaurants.
“After working for my father a few years, I noticed how hard he works. I hope my father can now step back and enjoy his life in retirement,” said Ryan Chou, assistant general manager of Beansmaster. The young entrepreneur has now taken over his family’s tofu business. He believes that Macau’s soy manufacturing industry has great potential. He recognizes that few people can do it well “but if few can do it, and if we do it well, the business will excel.”
Ryan said the raw ingredients for the soy products are high-quality soybeans from Canada. What’s more, they use health-enhancing ingredients during the production process. The price is therefore higher than that of its peers because of both the high quality and cost structure.
Sands China has always been supportive of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises. In the past six years, Sands’ local procurement volume has surged. Even during the epidemic, overall purchase orders did not decrease. For this SME indeed, Sands China has become a driving force for growth.
In response, Beansmaster has continued to improve its facilities and products. At the same time, to meet Sands China’s hygiene and freshness requirements, different types of packaging have been introduced. In addition, Beansmaster visited similar enterprises in mainland China to learn about new production technologies and thus has been able to continuously develop new soy products to meet clients’ supply demands. The cooperation with Sands China has improved the capabilities of the SME at different levels.
“We are happy to witness the increase in Beansmaster’s business. Although tofu is not an expensive ingredient, it has strict standards of production, temperature control, transportation and storage. It was no small task for Beansmaster to respond quickly and transform their facilities according to clients’ needs,” said William Chan, director of procurement and supply chain for Sands China, and Rachel Zheng, the team’s senior manager.
Rachel, together with senior officer Sardonna Lei from Sands China’s procurement and supply chain department, recalled the time Beansmaster sent experienced staff to Sands’ restaurants to teach the skills to make tofu pudding. “Their enthusiasm and positive attitude impressed us,” they said.
The advantages of choosing a “Made in Macao” supplier include timely coordination, punctual delivery, stable prices and logistics. Sands management commented: “To ensure food hygiene and safety, there are strict requirements in the making and handling of tofu and general bean products. To import from the mainland, transportation time is relatively long, and it is difficult to ensure that there are no mistakes along the way. In comparison, the whole process involved in supplying fresh tofu products locally can be controlled during the two to three hours from production to delivery to the restaurant. In addition, we are happy to see the SME continue to expand into new products, increase manpower, improve their facilities, and provide different types of packaging to cater to the market.”
The young entrepreneur Ryan hopes to maintain cooperation with Sands China and purchase the production facilities when the economic situation improves. He plans to keep renovating and upgrading equipment, and to continue improving standards of hygiene and product categories. In addition, he intends to obtain M-Mark certification through the Macao Product Quality Certification Program, which would be helpful in strengthening clients’ confidence in Beansmaster.
Sands China suggests that SMEs develop professional skills. Meanwhile, it will be helpful for SMEs to communicate and share ideas and developments with each other.
As a pioneer in starting local supplier support programs in Macao, Sands China Ltd. has been investing back into the community by helping more SMEs thrive and grow. Meanwhile the program allows Sands China to benefit from having local expertise, timely customer service and flexible delivery.