'This shop is like my child': Old-school bakery in Bedok sold for $4 million after a 3-year search for successor

PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. 

After almost four decades, the owner of Borobudur Snacks Shop at 537 Bedok North Street 3 has decided to retire, citing old age and occupational injuries. 

The owner, a 74-year-old man surnamed Zheng, told Shin Min Daily News that he's selling his entire business — which includes the shop, the factory and all its equipment — for a whopping $4 million. 

Borobudur Snacks Shop was founded in the 1980s by a Chinese Indonesian who was living in Singapore. Zheng became business partners with the founder in 1983, and has been running the business on his own since the founder passed away. 

The shop specialises in Nonya kueh, and is famous for their ang ku kueh and kueh lapis. 

"At our peak, we could produce nearly 1,000 cakes a day, supply at least 10 well-known hotels and deliver to many other retail shops across Singapore," he told the Chinese evening daily. 

Eventually, due to the increase in the number of food courts and competition in the wholesale market, Zheng pivoted the business to supplying buffet operators.

He also experimented with different-flavoured kueh lapis cakes, including palm sugar, mung bean and durian to offer customers more variety. 

To cope with the increasing demand for their Nonya kueh, a factory was also set up at Mandai Link in 2004.

After searching for three years, Zheng has finally revealed found a buyer fits the bill — a couple who met Zheng through a middle man. 

"We haven't signed the contract. We're in the midst of discussing the details, but they've been learning to make kueh since April. They have to learn for a year before they're ready." 

He added that he's going to go through with the sale, even if someone else offers him a higher price. 

$4 million might be a large sum of money, but Zheng says he still feels a little sad about having to sell the business, as he can't find a successor. 

Zheng and his wife have a daughter, who is married and lives in Canada. 

"I've been doing this for so many years, this shop is like my child. I feel it's a pity, but I don't really have much choice. My wife and daughter are supportive of my decision to sell the business. After I retire I'm going on a holiday with my wife, maybe go to Canada for a bit," he said.

ALSO READ: 'We don't want to increase the price': This roast meat stall still sells char siew rice for $2 after 37 years