- Cheap John’s Enterprise:
This family-run bike shop has been operating since the 1980s. The owner, Suresh Balani, also known as John, has been passionate about bikes since his childhood. He learned the trade through apprenticeships at bike shops in Sembawang, where he has lived his whole life. John personally delivers bikes to his customers and offers a wide selection of quality bikes thanks to his years of experience and strong connections with overseas factories. His family also plays an active role in the business, with his wife setting up meetings with brand ambassadors and his daughters introducing inventory systems and expanding the business online.
- Nelson Bar:
This is the last sailor’s bar in Singapore, dating back to pre-WWII. The bar has a loyal customer base of former and current sailors from Britain, America, New Zealand, and Australia who docked at Sembawang when it was a naval shipyard. The current owner, Vinod Reddy, took over the bar to preserve its history. He is committed to retaining the bar’s history and refuses to discard anything left by the sailors.
- Cheong Ann Watch Maker: This is an antiques shop that sells homemade pieces clocks.
Founded in 1947, Mr. Lim Gee Lam (Now 93 years old) and his passion for watches made the first watches himself. When entering the shop, visitors will be transported to a quiet place of time.
The shop looks like a museum of large and small clocks, the ticking sounds of the clocks and the image of the owner meticulously assembling each mechanical part bring a strange feeling of peace, different from the bustling street outside the main door. He gave his life’s legacy to his son David Lim.
- Tee Seng Store: This is a mamak shop that has been operating for 63 years.
Facing the whirlwind of industry and modernization, Mr. Ang Lu Heng’s grocery store still stands in the small house where he has lived for more than 63 years.
Mr. Ang’s daily routine is simple: He will practice qigong in the park before opening the store at 8 AM to arrange and inventory the store’s items, then schedule deliveries in the coming weeks. . When lunchtime approaches, Mrs. Ang will diligently gather the ingredients into a roll of newspaper and head to the back kitchen to prepare a meal for both of them.
- Gin Thye Cake Maker: This is one of the last traditional Teochew bakeries.
Gin Thye was established in 1943 and is famous for cakes such as Tau Sar Piah and peanut cake. Although it has undergone many changes, Gin Thye still maintains its traditional quality and flavor.
- White Restaurant: The OG of white Beehoon
White Restaurant, has been serving customers traditional Beehoon (stir-fried noodles) from $6 since 1998. Current second-generation owner, Victor Tay, recalls the days when he eagerly helped out cooking after school and watching his father, Tay King Huak, working on the floor.
Through years of observation and learning, he applied his father’s cooking principles: quality and consistency. For example, Mr. Tay only uses the freshest seafood ingredients – through suppliers who have been doing business with his family for a long time.
These stores are not only symbols of the past, but also bright spots for the future. Please continue to support these traditional businesses to preserve Singapore’s rich cultural heritage.