From housewife to queen: Cindy Lee sells T&T* Supermarkets for $225 Million


Cindy Lee holds a crab at T&T Supermarket.
Photo by Bill Keay, The Vancouver Sun

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun and
T&T Supermarket company website

Level 2
October 2009

Cindy Lee came to Vancouver
from Taiwan in 1972.
She just wanted to have a simple life.
Lee shopped in Chinatown in the rain
with her three children.
Shopping in Chinatown
was not convenient (con-vee-nyint).
There were no shopping carts.
There was no parking and there were no washrooms.

Read the PDF.

A shopping cart

A shopping cart

Lee saw an opportunity (a chance or a need).
In 1993, Lee opened her first T&T Supermarket
in Metrotown, Burnaby.

Today T&T is the largest Asian
grocery store chain in Canada.
There are 17 stores in British Columbia,
Alberta, and Ontario.
T&T carries over 15,000 food items
from Asia.

Lee is a success story.
In July 2009, Loblaws,
Canada’s largest food distributor (seller),
bought all 17 T&T Supermarkets.

Maybe Lee can now have the simple life she wanted.

*T&T the name comes from the two companies
that invested money in the grocery store.
T&T also stands for Tina and Tiffany, Cindy Lee’s two daughters.