Since the first-generation owners are gone and the second-generation no longer wishes to continue the business, there is no one left to succeed the old signature stall called “Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle”.
The current boss is asking for $500,000, in exchange for the branding, signboard, secret recipes and cooking methods. He hopes that someone will take over the business.
This teochew-style “Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle” was opened by Boss Li Huiping, aged 63.
It was originally located at Block 85C Toa Payoh Lorong 2, then Block 51 Lorong 6, before it eventually settled at Block 73 Toa Payoh Lorong 4 for good.
In the 37 years it was opened for business, it has always remained in Toa Payoh.
The minced meat noodle stall is now jointly run by Li Huiping and his niece. His eldest brother, second oldest sister, third younger sister and fifth younger sister would come by to help.
On 3 July, Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle stall suddenly published a post on Facebook, stating, “After 37 years of serving our loyal customers, we have decided to pass the torch to new owners who are equally as passionate to serving our customers. We thank everyone who has joined us on this journey.”
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When Li Huiping’s niece Zheng Lishan was interviewed, she said that the family had a discussion recently.
Her uncle brought up that he and his siblings are getting on with their years and their physical strength isn’t what it used to be, so they wanted to slow down and retire.
“My uncle is already 63 years old this year. In addition to the fact that his health hasn’t been good recently, he has kidney and heart problems too. He can only work for two to three hours at most right now.”
Zheng Limei added that besides her younger sister, her 33-year-old maternal female cousin joined the family business more than five years ago. Although they were still at the age where they could man the stall, neither of them wished to take over.
The 49-year-old niece goes on to say that she personally had heart problems. Her wrists and shoulders would swell up occasionally, so she has to stay medicated and rest more.
While her maternal cousin had prior experience in the catering industry, she has no interest in taking over the stall.
Zheng Limei revealed that her other family members had health problems as well. Regardless of how reluctant they would feel after turning over the stall, she felt that their health was still the most important.
Not the First Hawker to Try to Sell a Brand for a High Price
If you think $500k is way too high for a hawker brand, wait till you learn about this.
Last year, a ngoh hiong hawker at Maxwell Food Centre, China Street Fritters, asked for $1 million for his brand.
Just like Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle, he wasn’t able to find a successor among his kids.
According to him, the brand has cultivated a following of regular customers, and as long as the successor keeps up the standards, they can make up the cost in three years.
In fact, if it does well, the successor can expand the brand as well.
There was no taker, and the hawker decided to continue the business albeit with shorter operating hours.
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Featured Image: Facebook (Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Mee)