Sing Hon Loong Bakery

From Wiki.sg
Jump to: navigation, search
The shopfront of Sing Hon Loong bakery. Photo from On the Grid.

Sing Hon Loong Bakery (新丰隆面包厂) is a 24-hour Hainanese owned bakery shop located at 4 Whampoa Drive, Singapore.[1] The bakery has more than 50 years of history. Sing Hon Loong Bakery produces fresh bread loaves daily and only closes for four days a year during the Chinese New Year period.[2] In 2016, Sing Hon Loong Bakery was awarded the title of ‘Heritage Hero’ by Slow Food (Singapore).[3][4]

Background

Sing Hon Loong Bakery is sometimes referred to as Ghee Leong (义隆). The latter refers to the name of the former bakery that occupied the current premises.[5]


Sing Hon Loong Bakery is one of the few remaining traditional bakeries in Singapore. There were reportedly around 200 traditional bakeries in the 1970s. As of 2012, there were only 8 traditional bakeries left. As reported by The Straits Times, traditional bakeries are facing a decline due to increasing production costs, competition from larger retail chains and labour shortage.[6] In a 2018 interview, it was revealed that Sing Hon Loong Bakery employs 15 skilled workers and that the average age of each employee is 60 years old.[7]

Owner

Lai Chee Peng, the owner of Sing Hon Loong Bakery. Photo from SGSME.

As of 2019, the owner of Sing Hon Loong Bakery is Lai Chee Peng. Chee Peng is the second-generation owner who has been running the bakery for over 35 years. He joined his father’s traditional bakery business in the early 1980s after completing his National Service.[8]


When his father passed, Lai Chee Peng took over the bakery. He was subsequently approached by his two uncles to merge his father’s business with their bakery located at Whampoa Drive thus establishing Sing Hon Loong Bakery.[9][10]


Lai Chee Peng is married to Zhuo Mei Hua.[11] Chee Peng’s wife and sister both help to run the business. His sister manages the business accounts and public relations of the bakery while his wife does the cashiering and supervises the entire production process.[12]

Succession

Lai Chee Peng does not have any immediate successors for the business. Chee Peng and Mei Hua do not have any children.[13] According to Chee Peng, the traditional way of baking bread is a dying trade. Harsh working conditions and long working hours impede the possibility of new hires.[14][15][16]

Production

The charred crusts on the freshly baked bread at Sing Hon Loong Bakery. Photo from Foodiedoo.
Sing Hon Loong's signature crustless white bread. Photo from Underscore Magazine.

Sing Hon Loong Bakery makes its bread using traditional methods. Some stages of the production process have been automated, such as the use of an electric bread slicer for finished loaves and regulated gas flames for baking. However, the baking process primarily requires a great amount of manual labour.[17][18]

Baking process

Firstly, workers have to pour in the necessary set of ingredients to make the dough. Once that is done, the mixture is run through a roller and kneaded thoroughly. This creates a light and fluffy “gossamer-like” texture in the baked bread. The dough is then placed into moulds and left to rise before baking them in the oven. Each baked loaf has a uniform charred crust, giving the bread a “smoky” flavour profile. The crusts are then removed by hand before being sliced by an electric bread slicer.[19][20][21]


The trimmed crusts are brought over to a fish farm in Lim Chu Kang to be repurposed as fish food.[22]


On a typical day, Lai Chee Peng begins preparations with half of his staff at 4.30 am. The team works until 10 am which is when the first batch is slated for delivery. Lai Chee Peng repeats the entire process with the second half of his workers from 5.30 pm to midnight.[23] In total, the bakery produces roughly 600 to 700 loaves in three batches within a day.[24][25]

Products

The bread at Sing Hon Loong Bakery are baked fresh daily without preservatives.[26] The bakery’s signature bread is the crustless white loaf. Sing Hon Loong Bakery started with selling white and brown bread loaves and sugar buns. In the 1980s, they introduced more flavours of buns such as coconut and red bean.


Since then, the bakery has an assortment of products such as french loaves, raisin bread, cream and curry buns and sugar twists.[27] Upon purchase, customers can request for their loaf slices to be slathered with a coat of either butter, kaya or peanut butter.[28][29][30]


In addition to walk-in customers, Sing Hon Loong Bakery produces bread for hawkers, cafes and breakfast food chains like Fun Toast, Killiney Kopitiam and Ya Kun Kaya Toast. Lai Chee Peng stated that the bakery used to supply over 1,000 loaves daily to 30 Ya Kun Kaya Toast branches. However, they ceased to do so due to dwindling manpower.[31][32]

References / Citations

  1. “Sing Hon Loong Bakery - About”. Facebook. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/singhonloong/about/?ref=page_internal
  2. Tay, Gin. “Loving the smell of bread and earning a crust at the same time”. The Straits Times. August 9, 2019. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from:  https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/loving-the-smell-of-bread-and-earning-a-crust-at-the-same-time
  3. “Full listing of eateries recognized as Singapore’s Heritage Heroes”. The Straits Times. November 22, 2016. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from Factiva.
  4. “(Ghee Leong) Sing Hon Loong Bakery”. Slow Food (Singapore). Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: http://slowfood.sg/programs/heritage-heroes/sing-hon-loong-ghee-leong/
  5. Chan, Charlene. “Neighbour: Mr Lai”. Underscore. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: http://underscoremagazine.com/sing-hon-loong-bakery/
  6. Zaccheus, Melody. “Last of the traditional bakeries in Singapore”. The Straits Times. November 29, 2012. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from Factiva.
  7. Shiya. “Sing Hon Loong Bakery: Get A Slice Of Nostalgia & Traditional Bread In Whampoa While you Still Can”. Sethlui. April 11, 2018. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://sethlui.com/sing-hon-loong-traditional-bakery-singapore/#ixzz613xkMEB4    
  8. Tay, Gin. “Loving the smell of bread and earning a crust at the same time”. The Straits Times. August 9, 2019. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/loving-the-smell-of-bread-and-earning-a-crust-at-the-same-time  
  9. “Daily bread: Sing Hon Loong Bakery”. The Business Times. August 5, 2017. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sgsme.sg/news/daily-bread-sing-hon-loong-bakery
  10. Tan, Vivien. "Sing Hon Loong Bakery: 60 Years of Bread-making". YouTube. April 8, 2013. Accessed on 3 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPG89GBvp8M
  11. Camzai. “Sin Hon Loong Bakery Documentary SCO201”. YouTube. April 21, 2019. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3mRP4E6o5c    
  12. Shiya. “Sing Hon Loong Bakery: Get A Slice Of Nostalgia & Traditional Bread In Whampoa While you Still Can”. Sethlui. April 11, 2018. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from:  https://sethlui.com/sing-hon-loong-traditional-bakery-singapore/#ixzz613xkMEB4  
  13. Tay, Gin. “Loving the smell of bread and earning a crust at the same time”. The Straits Times. August 9, 2019. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/loving-the-smell-of-bread-and-earning-a-crust-at-the-same-time  
  14. Shiya. “5 Well-Known Traditional Businesses In Singapore That Need To Stay For Years To Come”. HYPE & STUFF. June 18, 2019. Accessed on 2 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.hypeandstuff.com/traditional-businesses-in-singapore/
  15. “Daily bread: Sing Hon Loong Bakery”. The Business Times. August 5, 2017. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sgsme.sg/news/daily-bread-sing-hon-loong-bakery
  16. Shiya. “Sing Hon Loong Bakery: Get A Slice Of Nostalgia & Traditional Bread In Whampoa While you Still Can”. Sethlui. April 11, 2018. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from:  https://sethlui.com/sing-hon-loong-traditional-bakery-singapore/#ixzz613xkMEB4
  17. Owyong, Elena. “These OG Bakeries Have Your Grandma’s Seal Of Approval And Are Still Standing Strong”. Discover SG. April 18, 2017. Accessed on 2 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://discoversg.com/2017/04/18/old-school-bakeries/
  18. “Hard work to make food by hand”. The New Paper. March 3, 2013. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from Factiva.
  19. “Traditional Bakeries: Sing Hon Loong (Ghee Leong)”. Ghetto Singapore. April 28, 2014. Accessed on 2 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.ghettosingapore.com/traditional-bakeries-sing-hon-loong/  
  20. “Black Is Beautiful - the secret behind Singapore's great kaya toast”. Foodwalkers. August 28, 2013. Accessed on 2 October 2019. Retrieved from:  http://www.foodwalkers.com/foodwalkers/2013/08/black-is-beautiful-secret-behind.html
  21. Shiya. “Sing Hon Loong Bakery: Get A Slice Of Nostalgia & Traditional Bread In Whampoa While you Still Can”. Sethlui. April 11, 2018. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://sethlui.com/sing-hon-loong-traditional-bakery-singapore/#ixzz613xkMEB4
  22. “Daily bread: Sing Hon Loong Bakery”. The Business Times. August 5, 2017. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sgsme.sg/news/daily-bread-sing-hon-loong-bakery
  23. Shiya. “Sing Hon Loong Bakery: Get A Slice Of Nostalgia & Traditional Bread In Whampoa While you Still Can”. Sethlui. April 11, 2018. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://sethlui.com/sing-hon-loong-traditional-bakery-singapore/#ixzz613xkMEB4  
  24. “Daily bread: Sing Hon Loong Bakery”. The Business Times. August 5, 2017. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sgsme.sg/news/daily-bread-sing-hon-loong-bakery  
  25. Shiya. “Sing Hon Loong Bakery: Get A Slice Of Nostalgia & Traditional Bread In Whampoa While you Still Can”. Sethlui. April 11, 2018. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://sethlui.com/sing-hon-loong-traditional-bakery-singapore/
  26. Tay, Tiffany Fumiko. “Slice of goodness”. The Straits Times. February 10, 2008. Accessed on 2 October 2019. Retrieved from Factiva.
  27. “Daily bread: Sing Hon Loong Bakery”. The Business Times. August 5, 2017. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sgsme.sg/news/daily-bread-sing-hon-loong-bakery  
  28. “Sing Hon Loong Bakery (Ghee Leong)”. National Heritage Board. Accessed on 2 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://roots.sg/Content/Places/landmarks/balestier-food-trail/sing-hon-loong-bakery-ghee-leong  
  29. “Balestier’s Best #3: Traditional local bakery”. Makan Kakis on Gold 905. June 30, 2016. Accessed on 2 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://makankakiswithdenise.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/balestiers-best-3-traditional-local-bakery/  
  30. Lim, Estelle. “10 Traditional Bakeries In Singapore And Their Die Die Must Try Item”. EATBOOK.SG. March 17, 2017. Accessed on 2 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://eatbook.sg/traditional-bakeries/  
  31. “Daily bread: Sing Hon Loong Bakery”. The Business Times. August 5, 2017. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sgsme.sg/news/daily-bread-sing-hon-loong-bakery  
  32. Zaccheus, Melody. “Last of the traditional bakeries in Singapore”. The Straits Times. November 29, 2012. Accessed on 1 October 2019. Retrieved from Factiva.