Marie Young (Chow) powerhouse behind Young & Young Trading

Categories:  BIOGRAPHIES
Marie Young (Chow) Smart and dynamic, she was the powerhouse behind Young & Young Trading Company Limited (Y&Y), a leading importer of Asian food in Canada. Marie is predeceased by devoted husband Victor and son Eugene; she is survived by loving partner Steve Young, sister Sau Cheuk Ma (Wing Fong), brother Joseph Chow (Claire), daughters Caroline (James Chao), Careen, Carmen (John Bifolchi) and Cara (Rick Tsang), grandchildren Joshua and Nathan Chao; Amelia, Jacob, and Juliet Bifolchi; and Justin and Erica Tsang. Born and raised in Guangdong, China on January 25, 1938, Marie immigrated to Canada at just 20 years old, re-uniting with her parents, who were running a laundry mat in Cobourg Ontario. After completing secretarial studies at Cobourg College, she moved to Toronto. In 1960 she began working at Gan Young Fruit Market – owned and operated by Victor Young. Victor had just begun importing Asian food through his company Young & Young Trading Co. In the following years, they married and started a family while Victor shifted his focus from the grocery store to the import business. A devoted mother, Marie went to help Victor in the family business only after the youngest child was in school. Like other immigrants of the time, long hours and little pay were the hallmarks of their humble beginnings. Marie was an intrepid business leader. She introduced Chinese food to the supermarkets at a time when Asian food was sold in Asian stores only. In the late 70’s, Marie brought computers to Y&Y. Computers were not yet used in their field. She set up systems to track inventory, orders and purchases and to produce a merchandise catalog. The move revolutionized their business and positioned Y&Y to become a market leader. Marie routinely attended meetings of the Chinese Canadian Import & Export Association, and boldly took the helm as president for a time. Later she traveled to Asia on her own to meet suppliers, attend food shows and return with new products. An entrepreneurial spirit, Marie Young left an indelible mark on not just Y & Y, but on her family and friends as well the Canadian food industry..Marie Young, died at home in Markham, Ontario on Nov. 4, 2020