Jalan Jalan festival a platform for food entrepreneurs
Three-day festival at Labrador Park offers music and local food with a twist
For almost half a century, Mrs Ho See Beng, 95, has been making her special achar for friends and family, who fondly call it "Mama Ho's achar".
This weekend, she's taking it to the next level, selling jars of the spicy mixed vegetables for $10 at her first food stall - called SingAchar - with her daughter-in-law, Madam Irene Chew, 71.
Madam Chew said: "We hope to preserve our family recipe by turning it into a business and hopefully a household brand."
SingAchar is one of the 50 food stalls by first-timers at the Let's Go Jalan Jalan food and music festival happening today till Sunday at Labrador Park.
The three-day festival, organised by event management company The Third Party, provides a platform for food and music entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas.
It features 77 food stalls selling traditional and trendy food items from shaved ice balls to a local version of Harry Potter's Butterbeer. The remaining 29 stalls will sell handcrafted items like polymer clay accessories, personalised jewellery and soft toys
Ms Doreen Lee, 46, director of The Third Party, said: "We hope this event will help entrepreneurs to kickstart their businesses and enter the industry.
"We lowered rental costs to make it accessible."
Food stall rental costs start from $350 for the three days with 20 per cent profit sharing.
Apart from performances by 14 local buskers, there will be culinary workshops, game booths and a Teochew opera heritage trail.
Said Madam Chew: "This event will help to increase exposure for our achar and we can test the market before developing the business further."
Another first-time vendor, Ms Claire Huang, 29, quit her senior sales executive job in September to fulfil her dad's dream of starting a carrot cake business. She will also make her debut at the festival.
Ms Huang had found out about the festival online and decided to give it a go. Her stall, Carrot Cubes, will sell traditional white carrot cake for $4, as well as more fusion-style creations like carrot cake with bacon ($5) and carrot cake with prawn and Thai chilli ($6).
She said: "It does not matter whether I earn from this event. My aim is to get exposure."
A young hawker couple, Madam Connie Tay, 28, who runs Heavenly Mee Sua at Whampoa Makan Place with her husband, Ivan, 27, will also sell their dish at a festival for the first time.
Said Madam Tay: "We want to reach out to younger consumers through the event since Whampoa is an old estate."
She intends to set up pop-up stalls at future events as she hopes the high traffic will help to raise brand awareness.
Mrs Ho said with a laugh: "I hope that people at the event who buy SingAchar will find it so delicious that they sing in happiness after eating the achar."