Handicap-friendly retro candy

Handicap-friendly retro candy

SINGAPORE - On the third floor of Bugis Village is a retro candy shop called "90s - The Candy Studio" that transports customers 30 years back with its offering of nostalgic snacks from Magic Dust Lollipops to Hiro Choc Cakes and haw flakes.

Step in and you might be greeted by staff donning lanyards that explain that they are hearing-impaired.

These staff can lip-read what you say and answer your queries by writing on a whiteboard or notepad, or showing you flashcards.

This social enterprise of a sweet shop is the fruit of three 20-year-olds' labour, and the result of their partnership with pro-entrepreneurship retailers through their school, Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).

Final-year business management student Robin Goh and recent graduates from the same course, Lim Yi Jun and Siti Khairunissa, opened the store in August this year, supported by NYP's collaboration with Bugis Street Management.

Under the programme, rental for their shop is waived for the first year, so they only have to pay for utilities and wages.

This is extremely helpful in reducing their overheads, they say, enabling them to break even in just three months.

Each of the three had put in an amount of "less than a thousand (dollars)" into the business, which also managed to cover shop renovations and furnishings.

The three have since re-invested their earnings into a second outlet at *SCAPE Underground.

NYP is also partnering *SCAPE in encouraging young entrepreneurship by giving preferential rental rates to their students who set up businesses in this space.

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