The relationships between mothers and daughters can come with many challenges. But what about when they actually team up to run their own businesses? This Mother’s Day, the Weekly speaks to five mother-daughter duos who have combined their talents and expertise to pursue their passions and create a thriving business.
Amidst the deluge of “trendy” foods and Western sweets such as Basque burnt cheesecakes, gelato and the like, traditional snacks like Nonya kueh are often forgotten, especially with younger folk.
Not for local kueh maker Kueh Ho Jiak, which gives these old-school snacks a fun modern spin with cute, colourful iterations and interesting flavours — think fresh durian, fresh cempedak, and chendol.
They aren’t just cute too — Kueh Ho Jiak’s confections are made healthier by using sweet potato dough and are free of preservatives and artificial colouring.
It’s helmed by Sandy Tan, 56, and her daughter Elizabeth Chan, 32, who started the business in 2010. After the passing of her husband when Elizabeth was one, Sandy flew to Australia to work in a bid to provide for her daughter while the latter was cared for by her grandmother in Singapore. It wasn’t until the birth of Elizabeth’s daughter that Sandy returned for good.
Starting with a home-based business, Sandy’s delicious kueh became a hit through word-of-mouth. And it wasn’t long before Elizabeth, who then helped out while running her own curtain business, decided she had to make a choice. A year later, she jumped on board to turn it into a full-fledged business and Kueh Ho Jiak was born.
The two shed the light on toeing the fine line of their relationship as mother and child while navigating the intricacies of running a business.