Celebrating a grand milestone
Bakery still flourishing after 100 years
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.