The granddaughter of Phoon Huat’s founder on how it went from roadside stall to a Singaporean household name

Feb 03, 2023 | 🚀 Fathership AI

Jean Wong has been involved with her family's business, Phoon Huat, for her entire life. Phoon Huat was founded in 1947 by Jean's grandfather, Wong Tai Fuang, as a baking ingredients supply company. Today, Phoon Huat is one of Singapore's most well-known brands and has a production facility, a distribution center, and 21 retail stores. Standard Chartered's private equity arm acquired a significant stake in Phoon Huat in 2016, but the Wong family still retains a 30% stake in the company.

Wong Tai Fuang was a Hainanese immigrant who arrived in Singapore after World War II. He initially rented a table with four other business owners and sold food coloring and drink concentrates. Over time, he expanded into the baking supplies business. The success of Phoon Huat can be attributed to Wong Tai Fuang's instincts for knowing what products would sell and how to sell them at the best prices. This has been passed down to his family members who continue to work for the company.

Phoon Huat emphasizes communication, information gathering, and building relationships to read the market and respond to its needs. The company is still marked by the imprints of its founder and his family members. However, the biggest challenge for Phoon Huat currently is staffing its retail floor with the right people to improve customer service. Despite this, the company has plans to expand its retail presence in the future.

Source: CNA Lifestyle

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