March 26, 2023

Singapore is understood to be an epicentre for native delights and cuisines. Even nowadays, we nonetheless have many eating places and cafes that supply tastes from the previous. 

HarriAnns Nonya Desk is one such cafe chain that has grown along with Singapore through the years. It’s a family-run enterprise that sells conventional nonya kueh and different genuine Peranakan one-dish meals.

HarriAnns has very humble beginnings as a pushcart stall within the Nineteen Forties. It will definitely opened its flagship outlet within the Nineteen Fifties, within the type of a market stall situated on the Tiong Bahru Meals Centre.

Over time, they determined to additional broaden the enterprise by opening their very first Peranakan-themed cafe in Bugis again in July 2014.

Alan Tan at HarriAnns Nonya Desk at Bugis Junction / Picture credit score: HarriAnn’s Pte Ltd

“We wished to revolutionise the notion of nonya kueh and elevate it from an merchandise present in a market and seemed upon as very conventional to one thing extra unique and fashionable,” stated Alan Tan Thuan Yong, CEO of HarriAnns. 

Being the primary in Singapore to pair native kopi and kueh as a retail idea, HarriAnns has managed to remain related amidst altering instances, whereas conserving its F&B heritage alive. 

As we speak, they’ve since expanded to change into a mini chain of cafes in Singapore, with retailers in Suntec Metropolis, Ocean Monetary Centre in addition to the Keppel Bay Tower.

A mom’s love within the type of a pushcart stall

HarriAnns’ origins dates again to the time when Madam Chia Nga Eng misplaced her husband to a freak accident within the Nineteen Forties. 

To make ends meet and to lift her two kids, she relied on her cooking abilities. Peddling her personal sticky glutinous rice and a few sorts of nonya kueh in a pushcart, one might at all times discover Madam Chia promoting these native delights within the Tiong Bahru space, irrespective of rain or shine.  

See also  Provide chain finance beneficial properties steam amid pandemic disruptions
Madam Chia Nga Eng operating the household enterprise / Picture credit score: HarriAnn’s Pte Ltd

Finally, she managed to avoid wasting up sufficient cash to hire a stall within the Tiong Bahru Market at Seng Poh Street, which was a obligatory step since hawkering on the streets grew to become unlawful. 

Madam Chia, who has contributed to the native meals scene in Singapore via HarriAnns and whose love stored her household going through the years handed away in 2019, leaving the enterprise to her son and daughter-in-law Harry and Annie, therefore the identify ‘HarriAnns’.

Challenges through the years

Taking the reins was no straightforward activity, for operating a pushcart enterprise may be very completely different from operating a bodily retailer.

Alan factors out {that a} pushcart enterprise primarily depends upon one particular person, whereas a bodily retailer relies upon lots on the footfall of the mall the shop is situated in. 

“Plenty of different components additionally come [into] play in a bodily retailer like rental, manpower points and many others”, he provides.

Nevertheless, reconceptualising a conventional market merchandise and selling out of the market right into a mall setting was the principle problem for HarriAnns. 

Alan, who beforehand served because the CEO of Certis Cisco Malaysia, highlights that he and his spouse Sharon needed to regulate to rigorous hours of a hawker. Making nonya kueh and manning the Tiong Bahru Market stall whereas additionally constructing a group was a protracted and tiresome course of. 

In the end, all these hardships they went via to proceed the household’s legacy and a dying commerce in Singapore had been all price it. The initially empty house alongside Victoria Road was reworked right into a bustling walkway with the institution of HarriAnns there.

HarriAnns Nonya Table Ondeh Ondeh
HarriAnns Nonya Desk Ondeh Ondeh / Picture credit score: HarriAnn’s Pte Ltd

Being a one-stop cafe providing all issues Peranakan handmade from scratch, their meals menu which gives savoury meals akin to Curry Hen, Nonya Laksa and Fish Soup, to native truffles and pastries akin to Ondeh Ondeh Cake, Pandan Kaya Fudge and Pandan Chiffon.

These gained common acclaim amongst shoppers, with vacationers from everywhere in the world additionally coming all the way down to attempt what they needed to supply.  

Apart from their best-selling Ondeh Ondeh, Kueh Salat and Kueh Rainbow Lapis, their signature artisanal Nonya Kueh stays the important thing attraction.

“We nonetheless, to this present day, serve Grandma’s sticky white glutinous rice, and we’re one of many previous few meals retailers in Singapore to cook dinner the glutinous rice the best way we do”, shares Alan.

Adapting comes naturally 

Having a menu symbolic of the Peranakan tradition, Alan emphasises that HarriAnns helps to maintain the native Peranakan tradition alive in a “fast-moving world”.

HarriAnns and Singapore have grown and advanced collectively. Now we have amassed a following for the reason that Nineteen Forties of people who find themselves discerning connoisseurs of native delicacies, clients who recognize the handmade artisanal high quality of our Nonya Kueh in addition to the value-for-money Nonya meals.

– Alan Tan Thuan Yong, CEO of HarriAnns

Having tailored to altering instances, HarriAnns managed to do the identical through the pandemic when lockdowns had been imposed.

Regardless that their gross sales plummeted since they weren’t allowed to function their dine-in shops, HarriAnns was fast on their ft to pivot to on-line methods akin to promoting on Fb’s “Hawker United” pages or having livestreams to succeed in out to a wider viewers. 

Picture Credit score: HarriAnns

Alan recollects that in addition they took orders through WhatsApp even within the wee hours of the night time and made use of group purchase platforms to push their gross sales. Furthermore, in addition they produced ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook objects to cater to individuals who labored from residence through the pandemic. 

Since then, operations have stabilised, permitting HarriAnns to pursue additional objectives and plans.

Alan shares that in addition to creating a brand new vary of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook genuine Peranakan merchandise for native and abroad exports, HarriAnns is seeking to broaden their manufacturing house and transfer into a brand new central kitchen in Bedok Meals Metropolis. 

“We are going to proceed to deliver our good Peranakan meals to the heartlands by partaking in additional pop-up kiosks in addition to have plans to open extra Peranakan cafes within the heartlands”, he provides.

As well as, to contribute to the household’s legacy, Ethan Tan, Madam Chia’s great-grandson and Alan’s son, printed a e book titled “Happiness is Handmade – a Peranakan Meals Legacy in Singapore” that highlights the heartwarming snippets of the 4 generations of the Tan household which have stored HarriAnns booming through the years.

Featured Picture credit score: HarriAnn’s Pte Ltd