Expat delivers fruit, veg from wet market

While it is not unusual for foreigners to visit Tiong Bahru wet market, a Swiss national living here has gone a step further by "bringing the market to people's homes".

Ms Sabine Seilliere is the founder of Sabine's Baskets, a home delivery service offering fresh fruit and vegetables from two stalls at the market.

The 33-year-old, who worked as an associate director at the World Economic Forum in Geneva and New York for five years, set up the service in April and already has almost 170 customers.

Through her service, a 5kg basket of at least eight different vegetables costs $35. Last month, customer feedback prompted her to offer a $25 flower delivery service, provided they buy fruits or vegetables too. The company is also looking to hire more people to join its four-member team.

Ms Seilliere moved here last year with her husband, who works for a perfume company here.

"I noticed that the quality of the fruits and vegetables in the supermarkets was not as good as that of the wet markets," she said. "And most of the wet markets closed early in the afternoon, so the shopping hours make it inconvenient (for customers)."

Having had a "very hectic and fulfilling job" at the World Economic Forum, she also saw the move to Singapore as an opportunity to "make a transition" in her life. She went on to team up with Mr Ang Kian Hua who runs a vegetables stall and Mr Raymond Yip, the owner of AR Global Fruits, who select and provide her with the produce.

She said she worked with them because she found the quality of their produce consistently good. "They also give me tips on what's ripe, what's expensive, and what's in season," she said.

Every morning, from Tuesdays to Fridays, she goes to the market to collect the fruits and vegetables, before packing them into individual baskets for delivery.

The stall owners, whose profits have increased by about 5 per cent, are happy with the collaboration and said they can better reach the expat community through Sabine's Baskets.

Mr Yip, 47, added: "I was surprised that she appreciated the produce from the wet market, when many young locals don't."

American Diana Mahmoud, 46, who runs a digital media consulting business here, has two baskets of fruits and vegetables delivered to her home each week. "The quality is good, and I've been introduced to fruits I never knew before, such as the dragon fruit and pomelo," she said.

While most of Ms Seilliere's clients are expats, she said: "I consider that as long as someone has set foot in Singapore, we are all 'locals'. Everyone is equal in front of a carrot."


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