Founder's Note #songfa50
04 Apr, 2019
First of all, thank you for being with us through the years – not just in person but in belief always.
Life was tough and gruelling back when I started out the business from a push cart at the now defunct Johor Road which once upon a time was buzzling with street hawkers. Operating for 3 years and 8 months under unpredictable weather that would either damage the push cart or cause flooding which affects business.
To make matters worse, another prevalent challenge faced by most back in the 60s was the strong presence and existence of secret societies. Business operators, merchants, street hawkers were often subjected to collection of “Protection Money”. Those days, items sold were priced between 10 cents to $1.20 cents and partial of the revenue had to be paid to the gangsters to ensure peace.
Life was a struggle back when I started out but I had a passion for cooking and a belief that someday, many people will know the brand Song Fa. Big dreams for a push cart hawker to a coffee shop stall operator but with a recipe of passion and strong belief, I started to witness the fruits of my hard labour.
Looking back at 2007, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh took a big step. We embarked on our first casual dining concept which was an idea from my older son Hart Pong. He wanted to move out of the stall running format, to incorporate design and modernize the way of eating Bak Kut Teh instead of the brick and mortar way of running a stall in view of such current and updated times.
I am heartened and pleased to witness Song Fa’s transformation over the years since my founding days. I am glad to see that the second generations are sharing my passion, belief and giving the best to strive for further excellence.
Lastly and most importantly, I want to thank my family who gave me all forms of support when I wanted to strike out from the push cart, without their help Song Fa would not have existed. Extended thanks goes out to a regular pool of customers for their unwavering support from my days at Victoria Street. It was through their word-of-mouth where social media was non existent then that made Song Fa’s presence at Victoria Street known.
I firmly believe that nothing is impossible with the right attitude. If we can take criticism positively and continuously strive for improvement then we will embark on this journey together as a team, as a family and bring Song Fa Bak Kut Teh to greater heights.