Monday, 9 January 2017

Perks of Being Uncle Bread

New year confetti are being cleaned up along with several nameless small businesses who couldn’t afford to continue any longer. Deep rooted anxiety of tomorrow has crept up and business owners are pulling their sleeves up for the steep hill. Amongst all this clutter stands a noble business man “Uncle Bread” from Singapore.
Pics courtesy : Strait Times, Singapore
Every day for the last 55 years, Mr Foo (known fondly as Uncle Bread) sold fresh breads to residents of Serangoon gardens and Seletar Hills Estate. The 78-year-old would go around tooting his Toyota Van’s horn to inform his customers, the bread has arrived. He would be surrendering his van keys for scrapping and would be retiring this Wednesday 11 Jan 2017.   "Uncle, take care, I will miss you," said a teary Filipino helper, who lives in Seletar Hills Estate, who has been buying bread from him for 12 years.

This simple man with humble business is the talk of the town today and for all the right reasons. Mr Foo had always greeted his customers and been regular in selling bread. He even obliged to take detour to sell to customer who was moved away from Serangoon gardens to Braddell.  Mr Foo thinks it was the customer's way of making sure he had business. Some even made special requests for a particular kind of bread and Mr Foo went out of his way to get it. Several customers had accounts with him, which is recorded in a notebook and would only pay him at the end of the month.  And then there were some niche details and agreements with his customers who had unique ways of informing him whether they needed bread for a day or not.


Uncle bread had made deeper connections with his customers, with his consistency, service and attention to details. Personal touches like greeting and attending to unique needs can go a long way in making sure the business continues even at changing times. He is a perfect example as how a small business could make an impact in customers lives, small yet in significant manner.  When asked about what he wanted to do next by Strait Times he replied “My daughter has been asking me to retire, and says she will give me an allowance. I want to read the Chinese evening paper properly and enjoy a slow walk in the park.”  Which I think is a perfect exit strategy ;)

Srivatsan Aravamudan
Srivatsan Aravamudan
General Enquiries:info@psibertech.com.sg
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Pre-Sales, Communications and Digital Marketing Manager

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