Matriarch He had quite a few stores in her personal property, all of which earned her more money than Guilin Restaurant did. However, it was the only restaurant she owned. Since Sanlang’s wife had some talent in cooking, Guilin Restaurant was the best property she could give to her to handle.
Nobles weren’t prohibited from dabbling in business in the Great Wu Dynasty. Any smart noble wife in charge of managing their estates would have at least a few money-making stores in their hands.
Even the current empress had secretly opened a few stores in the capital. Everyone knew which stores were hers, but no one would discuss them out in the open.
A noble wife could show off how well they managed the businesses under them as proof of their capabilities.
Any estate, big or small, needed money to spend, after all.
There were a few stores listed under House Jing’an’s public accounts. However, those were under the management of the Heir Jing’an’s wife, Madam Zou. It wasn’t appropriate for Matriarch He to touch those properties. Furthermore, she knew that those few stores weren’t earning much anyway, and it wasn’t easy for Madam Zou to manage the estate’s income.
Thus, after thinking about it all night, the matriarch had decided on picking something from her personal properties to give to Sanlang’s wife, as a way of letting her train her management skills.
When Chu Lian had married into the family, she didn’t even have a single piece of farmland to her name, let alone any stores. Matriarch He understood the situation she was in.
Although Guilin Restaurant had been established decades ago, it wasn’t famous at all in the capital. It had been doing well enough in the early years, and there had been some income flowing in from it. Guilin Restaurant hadn’t lacked for customers at first due to its location next to the bustling East Market. However, in the recent decade, the areas for the East and West Markets had been redrawn and the East Market had shifted away. The area around Guilin Restaurant then became a residential area, causing the restaurant to lose its flow of customers. Furthermore, the dishes it served were nothing special, so it slowly sank into obscurity.
In the past few years, it had been in the red for month after month. Guilin Restaurant had five waiters at first, but now there was only one left. In its current state, two or three customers in a day would be cause for celebration.
Matriarch He had kept Guilin Restaurant running because of her sentimentality towards it. It had been part of her dowry after all, and it had been personally handed down to her from her mother. Back then, it had been her mother who had personally named the restaurant.
Matriarch He’s mother had passed away more than ten years ago. Guilin Restaurant had become the last thing her mother had entrusted to her.
Matriarch He started off by saying, “Grandmother has noticed that you haven’t had much to do in the estate these few days, so Grandmother has found a task for you. Grandmother hopes you won’t feel like Grandmother is being too nosy!”
Chu Lian’s eyes widened slightly. “Grandmother, you want me to manage Guilin Restaurant?”
Matriarch He smiled until her eyes were crescents. “This restaurant was part of my dowry. It hasn’t been doing well in recent years. Sanlang’s wife, if you can revive it, then Grandmother will give this restaurant to you. However, there is one condition: Guilin Restaurant has to remain a restaurant.”
Wasn’t this someone offering her a pillow the moment she wanted to sleep?
She had just started looking for a way to make money, and now Matriarch He had come along offering her a restaurant. The previous ‘Chu Lian’ had never been this lucky.
‘Chu Lian’ had used sinister plots to take over the management rights of the estate, and then used some other tricks to take the matriarch’s other personal properties when Matriarch He had fallen seriously ill.
“But is this…” Is this real? She was overjoyed!
However, before Chu Lian could finish speaking, Matriarch He interrupted her.
Matriarch He purposely put on a serious expression. “No buts. Grandmother wants to give this to you, so you just have to accept it. Grandmother wouldn’t even give this restaurant to Dalang and the others if they asked for it! Even if you can’t manage it well, Grandmother won’t blame you. That restaurant isn’t earning money now anyway, so you can’t possibly make it worse than it is now.”
The matriarch had misunderstood Chu Lian’s meaning, but Chu Lian knew this wasn’t the time to explain. Due to her happiness, her cheeks were flushed red, giving Matriarch He the urge to pinch her little cheeks to see if they felt as soft and smooth as they looked.
Of course, Matriarch He actually gave into the urge.
Chu Lian was a little embarrassed by having her cheeks pinched. Softly, she called out, “Grandmother.” In her mind, she wasn’t a fifteen year old girl at all, unlike her appearance!