Yan Lu’s tiny asian grocery store, located at 6 Ford Street in Sackville, New Brunswick, is the product of collaboration among friends, a landlord-turned-business-mentor, and a strong social network of international students at Mount Allison University. I joined Yan and his cousin/collaborator Bonny in the shop before opening hours to hear the story of the genesis and evolution of their business.

In this photo, Yan is standing with Mohammed, the owner of the building on Ford Street, who encouraged him to open a shop in the former SappyFest office, and helped him with renovations and business mentorship.