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When Aaron Lim, then 23, completed his National Service after getting a diploma in Business Information Systems, he made an easy decision — forgoing university and the chance of a cushy corporate life to become a hawker. He wanted to join his father in running their stall called My Father’s Minced Meat Noodle in Tampines. Telling said father about his life plan, however, wasn’t as easy.

“My dad was furious,” shares baby-faced Aaron, now 27. “He told me off, saying that this line of work is very hard, with no time off and no holidays.”

What eventually persuaded Lim Seng Guan, 50, to come around, was his son’s enthusiasm for the craft and an impassioned plea to contribute to a business that’s fed his family since 1992, back when it was named Chai Chee Minced Meat Noodle.

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