A surge in business at his Toa Payoh bakery has left its baker feeling conflicted.
While grateful for the increase in patrons, bakery owner Fu Jinfeng (transliteration) hopes that new customers can be considerate towards low-income elderly residents who depend on his low-priced buns, reported Shin Min Daily News.
Business boomed after the traditional bakery was recently featured in the news for selling one pack of old-school buns for just $1.
According to local media 8days, the prices of the bakes at Omzyn Cake Confectionery has remained unchanged for the past two decades, despite Fu’s customers urging him to raise his prices.
However, the 73-year-old baker is reluctant to do so, explaining that there is a sizeable elderly population in the neighbourhood where some residents cannot even afford to pay $1.
“Sometimes, I just accept a few cents from them or give them bread for free,” he told 8days.
Fu starts baking just after midnight and packages over a thousand freshly-baked buns into some 300 to 400 packs of four, according to the Chinese evening daily.
His confectionery boasts over 30 varieties of buns and is only open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and during the weekends from 4am to 8am.
While the buns generally sell out just before 8am on a typical day, they were sold out at 6.15am last Sunday (Dec 3).
One new patron who is not a Toa Payoh resident had bought 20 packs of bread at a go, said Fu, pointing out that the elderly residents generally buy one pack at a time.
Some elderly customers who visited the bakery later that morning were left disappointed.
Fu shared that he can only bake a limited amount of bread every day and is not able to hire a helper due to space constraints.
He told Shin Min that it would not be right to reject customers and he also does not wish to set purchase limits. Hence, he hopes for everyone to be considerate towards the elderly who are in need.
When Shin Min visited the bakery at 5.40am on Tuesday (Dec 5), Fu had sold nearly half of his bakes. All his buns were sold out an hour later, where some 10 packs of curry buns were sold to a well-dressed customer who drove to the shop, noted a reporter.
A regular customer with disabilities who visited the shop at 7am was seen leaving empty-handed, looking helpless and disappointed, Shin Min reported.
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