Where Creativity Is a Bread and Butter Issue
Breadtalk first made waves when they entered the bakeries market all over Singapore in the year 2000, bring in a totally new concept of bakeries business into Singapore.
1. From a classic rags to riches tale
Born in 1957, MR. George Quek was a son of a humble vegetable farmer who later became a seaman and a housewife mother. Together with his 3 brothers, they stayed in a rented wooden attap hut in Hougang. As a boy Mr. George slowed no inferred in studies whereby in his report card you could see more red than blue marks. He rather prefers to dabble with a pencil and drawing board. His creativity ignited into a passion for artistic pursuits. Once completed his “o” levels he enroll himself to Singapore Art Academy and worked as a cable technician to pay his fees. After graduation, he was enlisted for National Service. He signed on as a regular in the Army at the age of 20. The Army has taught him to be tough and strong with endurance and determination and eventually emerged as a company sergeant major, upon leaving the Army, he worked in a Hong Kong handicraft shop in Parklane Shopping Mall. Where he did wood carving metal engraving and also move dragon-bread candy. In 1982, Mr. Gorge Quek left for Taiwan to further his art education. But destiny had no plans for him when he realized he could not afford the 6000 dollars enrollment fee. With the remaining money, he set up a single pushcart stall selling “Dragon Bread Candy” in Taiper Department Store. The snack failed to “bite” at that p, feeling the sheer horror that he might not have money for a return-ticket home desperate for new invention and creativity. Slowly he began to “feel” the tasebud and preference of the Taiwanese customers. Though trials and errors, he modified his sales pitch, marketing, flavors and presentation accordingly business flourished.
2 years later from one single cart outlet it expanded into 4 more push-cart with the sales over $240,000 a month. Emboldened by his “initial success”, he came back to Singapore and invested $100,000 in Singapore’s howker food “ bak chor mee and fishball noodle”, he lost a huge portion in the early stage. Refusing to throw in the towel, eventually the venture paid off in 1992, and had since grown into 21 outlets. He sold off his business and started an ice- cream chain parlour in China, which was again successful. Mr. Quek and his wife Katherine feeling homesick after too many years in China, decided to pack up and head home.
Back in Singapore with his years of experience in F&B, he engaged a few Taiwanese partners and set-up the first Singapore style modern food court in Bishan Junction 8 in 1994. The venture was a sweet success and within a few years, over 15 such food courts up all over Singapore and overseas. 2 Entrepreneurship
Mr. Quek’s achievement so far had been an Astounding success and he could jolly well “retire” comfortably yet, he was never contended. While in Taiwan and Japan, he noticed the “popularity” of “designer-bread boutique” outlets among the people.
So in the year 2000, brought in the “designer bread boutique concept” ( an “open kitchen concept”) whereby the breads are presented in elegant clear glass boxes that resemble jewelry showcases creating a bright-looking fluorescent lit-boutique which allows people from outside the shop to look in and watch the chefs making the delectable bread and pastry concoctions from start to finish. Customers also enjoy a breezy and trendy ambience in these bakeries. The walls are splashed with a clinical white and the bread and pastries are displayed on sleek white plastic and glass shelves, life clothes on display in a department store, creating a wonderful potpourri of colours and smells that attract long queues of people round the clock. Stylish plastic carriers used for purchases are trendy looking and carries over the minimalist concept.
Equipped with the new staple of the art...
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