Old Chang Kee
Walking around Singapore you will see this sign in lots of places – Old Chang Kee since 1956. After a couple of days of seeing this sign I began to wonder who Old Chang Kee was and whether he had been old since 1956? Was he still around? If so, wouldn’t he be much older? I just had to investigate. Apparently the origins of Old Chang Kee were extremely humble. It started as a small stall in a coffee shop outside a cinema hall in Singapore. The curry puff which was the signature brand of Old Chang Kee was a delicious pastry filled with curried potatoes, chicken and a slice of egg – it captured the hearts (and stomachs) of Singaporeans in no time at all.
Since then the Old Chang Kee brand has grown and flourished. It’s star brands are:
The mission of Old Chang Kee is simple – to deliver the best quality and most delicious hot finger foods and ready meals to residents and tourists alike.
I have yet been unable to find out who founded it. Was Old Chang Kee a person? What I have been able to discover is that the business was bought out in 1986 by Han Kee Juan who left a cushy job with an MNC and decided to turn this popular stall into a flourishing business. Sound familiar all you budding entrepreneurs out there?
Well, it worked. He now has many stalls, provides ready meals to supermarkets and shopping malls. He also has a large factory. But did he stop there? Nope. In 1996 he decided that if he wanted the business to grow he would have to bring in new, young blood with innovative ideas and new marketing ideas to deal with an ever-changing consumer market. So he hired young William Lim, a graduate from Australia, as the Managing Director of Old Chang Kee.
The business has grown under young William’s leadership, the branding has become more impactful and it has started to appeal to all segments of the multi-racial, multi-religious Singapore society. Quite a story eh? But I still don’t know who Old Chang Kee was. Was he even a person? Can anyone enlighten me?
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