Toa Payoh Bakery Sells S$1 Bread For Elderly Residents
Singaporeans may be feeling the impact of rising costs recently, especially those in the lower-income bracket.
A Toa Payoh bakery sought to help the retired elderly by selling fresh bread for just S$1.
However, media attention has led to more customers to the cheap product. This caused the bread to sell out in two hours, leaving none for some elderly regulars.
Mr Fu did not want to set purchase restrictions, but hoped others could be considerate about the needs of low-income residents.
Toa Payoh bakery sells S$1 bread for over a decade
Four pieces of curry bread for just S$1? Seems almost too good to be true, especially with recently rising costs.
Yet a trip down to Omzyn Cake Confectionery at Toa Payoh Lorong 7 quickly confirms this, with rows of affordable freshly-baked bread on display.
The sole baker behind the business is 73-year-old Fu Jinfeng, who keeps the price low to support the local elderly residents, according to Shin Min Daily News.
Mr Fu had been baking for the past 60 years, and moved to Toa Payoh 16 years ago with his S$1 bread.
Some urged him to raise his prices, yet he always refused, saying he didn’t need much profit for himself. He also previously considered retirement, but was unable to let go of serving his old regulars.
According to Shin Min, a usual four-piece pack of bread would cost at least S$2.50 in the average bakery.
Mr Fu begins baking at past midnight, making 30 different flavours of fresh bread, including butter, red bean, and curry fillings.
He bakes 300 to 400 packets of bread each time and opens shop at 4am and usually sells out by 8am.
Some customers buy bread in bulk
Mr Fu and his traditional bakery received well-deserved media attention recently from sites like 8days.
Since then, his business has boomed. Shin Min reporters arrived at 5.40am on 5 Dec to find nearly half the bread sold out and the popular curry flavour picked clean.
Despite the good business, the bakery’s newfound fame proved to be a double-edged sword.
Fu said that on 3 Dec, he sold out all his bread by 6.15am, which he considered unusually fast.
A new customer who didn’t live nearby bought 20 packets in one go, leaving many elderly residents with little or none.
On 5 Dec, a reporter observed that several well-dressed customers arrived by car to buy the bread in bulk. This caused the bread to sell out by 6.40am.
At 7am, an old disabled regular came by, only to be visibly disappointed by the lack of bread left.
Baker appeals to new customers to be considerate to elderly regulars
An interviewed elderly couple said that a packet of bread could last them two breakfasts with coffee. On Sunday (3 Dec) morning, this routine was forcefully broken by the bread selling out early.
Another regular, Mr Lee, alleged that he saw some 40 or 50 elderly customers leaving empty-handed.
“Many nearby elderly residents rely on the affordable bread here to survive.” He said.
Mr Fu explained that as the sole baker, he had limits on how much bread he could bake. All three of his sons had their own careers and interests, and the store’s space was too small for hired help.
Furthermore, he did not want to implement purchase restrictions. Thus, he appealed to the public to show consideration for the elderly who needed the affordable bread more.
Hopefully, the elderly regulars around the area will be able to get their hands on the bread again soon.
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