The super popular China Street Fritters at Maxwell Food Centre was supposed to close down for good by March 2022 and sell off its recipe valued at S$1 million.
However, the search for a prospective buyer has been futile with the recipe asking price lowered to S$500,000, Shin Min Daily News reported.
The famous Hokkien-style ngoh hiang fritters are still being sold at the stall with a 80-year history, where it went from street hawking in 1942 to a proper hawker outlet, and is now part of Singapore's culinary legacy.
Ng Kok Hua, 65, told the Chinese press that only he and his wife, together with a few of his siblings, are currently running the business.
Ng and his other nine siblings have at some point helped out with their father's business, but many of them have since moved on to other things.
Ng inherited the business from his father when he was 16 years old.
No prospective buyer found
Ng revealed that an individual in the food and beverage industry wanted to invest and planned to buy the recipe initially.
But the plan fell through when the pandemic struck and there was no sign the business environment would improve then.
And then at the start of 2022, one other investor wanted to put money into the business, but asked Ng to stick around to oversee operations, but he was reluctant due to his advancing age.
Sale price slashed to S$500,000
Ng added that successors are hard to find with the pandemic still in the background.
But he is ready to reduce the price of his business to S$500,000.
He said: "The price can actually be negotiated. What we hope is for the secret recipe to be inherited and let the Chinese people eat traditional food."
Local heritage to be preserved
He pointed out that many hawkers are reluctant to pass on their secret recipes to people outside of their immediate circle, resulting in many traditional delicacies being lost to time.
He said he wants to hand the reins to someone who can preserve the brand that his brothers and sisters have worked so hard to establish after so many years.
"As far as I know, there are only three local stalls that make Hokkien five-spice sausages. Many customers say it would be a pity if they were lost," Ng said.
"But if we can't find a successor, our brothers and sisters will continue to operate until they are unfit for health."
About half a year before this discounted sale price was offered, Kok Hua had already told the Chinese media that he believes the buyer of the business will be able to recoup the money within three years.
China Street Fritters at Maxwell Food Centre was initially put up for sale for S$1 million.
The items are still hand-made by the second-generation owners.
The asking price of S$1 million was lowered to S$800,000, and now S$500,000.
The siblings intend to split the sale proceeds amongst themselves to fund their retirement.
One interested buyer had put in a lowball offer of S$100,000, but that amount was deemed not enough.
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