Words by Janelle Ting
Bread Garden ventures into new opportunities while keeping their heritage and founding beliefs close to heart
The story of how Bread Garden started is heartwarming and encapsulates a family’s love and passion for not only baking, but for the people around them too. Dating back to the 1980s, before the bakery was started, the Lee family would gift their baked goods to relatives and friends to foster good relationships.
The family then started a bakery in 2008 with the same intention of strengthening ties through quality baked goods. They believe in using the finest and freshest ingredients to produce premium products for their customers, just like how they would bake for their loved ones.
Some of their popular items include:
With their wide range of delectable confections and strong word-of-mouth recommendations, Bread Garden grew from one local outlet to a chain of four local and nine overseas outlets over the past 12 years.
While all four local outlets are located in the heartlands, Bread Garden is not just an ordinary neighbourhood bakery. On top of selling common bakes and pastries, Bread Garden also customises cakes for special occasions. Their festive goodies are available all year round and these made-to-order products are as fresh as they can be.
Despite the strong support and recognition from their customers and multiple features in the local newspaper, Bread Garden continues to strive for excellence. Stepping out of their comfort zone, Bread Garden participated in roadshows, alongside other big and renown brands. They saw the experience as a learning opportunity to improve their product packaging.
This is especially critical in today’s changing F&B landscape, where customers assess a product by its packaging and overall presentation before or without even tasting it. Going beyond aesthetics, Bread Garden is also exploring packaging that could prolong the shelf life of their preservative-free products.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company takes their business online and switches focus to digital marketing, e-commerce and food delivery platforms. During the process, they face difficulties in getting their mature workers to adapt to the new technologies. As a result, the company intends to send them for digital training in the near future, and is currently researching on the grants they can tap on.
Additionally, Bread Garden also hones the technical skills of their bakers by regularly sending them for courses organized by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), the Singapore Bakery and Confectionery Trade Association (SBCTA), as well as Creative Culinaire the School. This ensures that the company continues to produce quality bakes in line with their founding beliefs, while innovating to meet the changing market demand.
Through the pandemic, Bread Garden realises the importance of going digital. Leveraging various e-commerce sites and online marketing tools, the company is able to obtain a wider reach and deeper connection with their customers.
Bread Garden treats each customer and employee with sincerity, and this enables them to survive and thrive through difficult times. They also uphold the highest standards and take pride in providing premium bakes.
The final piece of advice that the company has for fellow startups is to embrace change. Change is the only constant and there is an urgent need to adapt, innovate and keep up with the times, especially in today’s fast-paced world.