Fruit fever throngs Thonglor after Milli’s mango moment (Photos)

Photo: Nicky Tanskul
Photo: Nicky Tanskul

A flash of fruit 14,000 kilometers away filled the footpaths of Thonglor today with people hungry for a bite of the mango’s sticky-sweet zeitgeist moment.

Hordes of delivery riders have waited in long queues for whole mangos and trays of mango sticky rice sold by the small Mae Varee shop ever since teen hip-hop sensation Milli closed her set at the Coachella music fest snacking from a bowl of the dessert.

“Although our mangoes have always been popular, when Milli was on the news with her mango stunt, we’ve become even more popular,” owner Kob told Coconuts. “Our customers have since doubled.”

At Coachella, teen rapper Milli feeds Thai pride with a bowl of mango sticky rice (Video)

Her shop, which has been selling mangoes around the corner from BTS Thong Lo for 80 years, is tasting the fruits of Thailand’s sudden mango mania. Inside, eight employees were rushing to pack the iconic dessert into styrofoam boxes for 20 or so waiting customers.

Staff prepare trays of mango sticky rice Wednesday at the Maevee shop on Thonglor. Photo: Nicky Tanskul / Coconuts

Many of those customers wore the familiar green-hued jackets of Lineman or Grab delivery riders.

One deliveryman, simply named F, said he had been to the shop three times already by noon.

“Today, I’ve been here three times,” he said. 

Another driver, Oh, said he’s been to the shop every day since footage emerged Sunday of Milli, 19, shouting ““Who wants mango and rice that is sticky?!” as she exited the stage in Indio, California.

“I come here about two or three times a day,” he said.

Kob said the riders are there at dawn.

“Once our shop opens at 6am, there’s already Grab drivers waiting to line up. They steadily come until we close at 10pm,” she said.

Wat, a delivery driver for Shopee Food, said, “I’ve delivered from 5am to 1pm. And again from 2pm until 8pm.”

Mae Varee has been selling mangoes for over 80 years. Photo: Nicky Tanskul

Grab riders’ delivery fees depend on the time of day and peak between morning and noon.

“We don’t receive an increase in pay,” F said. “For example, I only get THB70 to deliver to Silom as normal Grab fees usually begin at THB40.”

However, Oh said that they weren’t penalized by the long waits.

“The delivery fee increases depending on the time I wait. Distance is a normal rate but, depending on the time of day, the price will increase due to a long queue.”

His next delivery? Taking mango sticky rice to Pathumwan.

Another rider, Wat, said he doesn’t like to wait long as it increases the chance of someone canceling.

“If that happens, I have to talk with the manager of the app and they will refund some of the money,” he said. “Also today, police had to chase all of the delivery drivers to park somewhere else as they were taking up too much space. They would have locked our wheels if we didn’t.”

However, despite the sudden spike in demand, Kob does not intend to raise her prices: mangoes are THB60 and mango sticky rice runs THB100-150 depending on the size.

“We will always sell them at regular prices,” she said. “Just now, we packed 15 packs of mango sticky rice for one customer.”

Of course those who do not want to wait so long for the in-season, in-trend fruit can go to one of the countless other vendors selling them.

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