Cel­e­brat­ing a grand mile­stone

Bak­ery still flour­ish­ing af­ter 100 years

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By IVAN LOH ivan­loh@thes­tar.com.my

TAIP­ING: A bak­ery here has reached a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone by cel­e­brat­ing its cen­ten­nial an­niver­sary.

One of the old­est bak­eries, the Ipoh Bak­ery at Jalan Tam­ing Sari was founded in 1918 and is cur­rently run by the third and fourth gen­er­a­tion of the Tan fam­ily – Siew Yong, 70 and Wil­liam, 37.

Wil­liam said the bak­ery was started by his great grand­fa­ther, Kooi Chee, who ar­rived in then Malaya from Hainan, China in 1909.

“He took up a job as an ap­pren­tice in a bak­ery run by a Pak­istani at Jalan Boo Bee,” he said when met.

“With a salary of seven dol­lars a month, he man­aged to save enough to start his own bak­ery called Yee Pow at Jalan Kota, near the Shun Tak As­so­ci­a­tion build­ing.

“The bak­ery moved three times be­fore set­tling at its present lo­ca­tion,” he added.

The soon-to-be fa­ther of two said “Yee” in Chi­nese means har­mony while “Pow” means to pro­tect. It has an aus­pi­cious mean­ing and co­in­ci­den­tally, it has the same name as Ipoh but it was not the cap­i­tal of Perak at that time.

“The orig­i­nal sign­board with Yee Pow still hangs in front of the bak­ery,” he said.

Wil­liam ex­plained the bak­ery was passed on from one gen­er­a­tion to an­other up to his fa­ther in 1968.

“When my grand­fa­ther died in 1965, the shop was taken care of by my fa­ther's el­der sis­ter, Siew Lan for two years.” Siew Lan is now 81 years old.

“She passed over the busi­ness to my fa­ther in 1968, who had just com­pleted his Form Six then,” he said.

He said his fa­ther Siew Yong is still ac­tively work­ing be­hind-the-scenes at the bak­ery.

“He’s more into the ad­min­is­tra­tive work, while I fo­cus on creat­ing and de­sign­ing fon­dant cakes and help­ing out at the shop wher­ever I am needed,” he said.

“It re­ally means a lot that it has sur­vived af­ter 100 years,” he added.

Wil­liam said the bak­ery just com­pleted a ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment work in Septem­ber.

A cel­e­bra­tion for the oc­ca­sion would be held to­day at 10am.

Hospi­tal staff Aniza Ab­dul Ma­jid, 54, said she has been buy­ing breads and cakes at the shop for many years.

“This is the bak­ery I have al­ways been go­ing to since I was lit­tle,” she said.

Grand cel­e­bra­tion: The Ipoh Bak­ery will cel­e­brate their 100-year an­niver­sary with spe­cial of­fers and a high tea for their cus­tomers. (Be­low) Siew Yong and Wil­liam.

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