'Coffee Shop King' Kim San Leng founder passes away at 72 after 2-week fever

His coffee shop chain has more than 30 outlets in Singapore.

Belmont Lay | April 30, 2021, 06:45 PM

Hoon Thing Leong, founder and boss of Kim San Leng coffee shop chain, has passed away aged 72.

Hoon's passing was announced on Facebook on April 30, 2021 by the coffee shop chain, which has more than 30 outlets across Singapore:

Passing confirmed by son

Lianhe Zaobao reported that Hoon passed away at about 10.40pm on Thursday, April 29.

Hoon's son, Hong Qiqiang, confirmed with Zaobao that his father had passed away.

Hoon, who was known as the king of coffee shops, spent his final days in hospital, as doctors tried to treat a two-week fever.

King of Coffee Shops

The post paid tribute to Hoon who founded the chain.

It was originally started from one coffee shop in Hougang.

Hoon started out as a coffee boy working at a coffee shop started by his father, Hoon Moh Heng.

After taking over the business, Hoon grew the business to become Singapore’s “Coffee Shop King”.

He did this by growing his father’s sole Hougang coffee shop, Kim San Leng Eating House, into a chain of coffee shops all bearing the same name.

The post noted Hoon's passion for martial arts, which led him to join the Wushu Association the last 13 years.

Condition worsened on day of passing

On the day of Hoon's passing, his condition worsened and he suffered a haemorrhage.

He was warded at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

Doctors spent eight hours trying to save him.

Had multiple surgeries

Hoon's son told the Chinese language paper that his father's health had not been good the last few months.

Hoon underwent a heart operation in January 2021.

In February, he underwent brain surgery.

He was re-admitted to hospital 14 days ago after running a high fever every day, Hong said, but doctors were unable to diagnose its cause.

A few days before his passing, Hoon underwent a third operation to extract tissue from his liver that was expected to last 45 minutes.

However, after that surgery, Hoon’s condition deteriorated.

He then underwent another operation for the haemorrhage in his liver.

Gone unexpectedly

In the early hours of April 29, doctors told the family that Hoon's life was in danger.

Hong said his father's heart stopped a few times in the ICU over the eight-hour period.

Hoon's deteriorating condition also caused problems for his kidney and brain, the son said, and his father had to undergo dialysis.

Hoon's passing came as a shock as the family didn’t realise his condition was so serious, the son said.

The official cause of death has not yet been pinpointed.

All photos via Kim San Leng