The Singapore Connection
The 50s and 60s was a time of mobile food – when hawking was still allowed on the streets. Street hawking was a popular occupation as it was an opportunity to earn a living with low cost. Pushcart hawkers would set up stands at dedicated street corners, completely exposed to the elements. They performed an important job of providing quick and cheap meals to the large population of city dwellers who were busy to cook meals at home. During those times, most Singaporeans were not affluent and could barely afford to buy costly drinks like orange cordial. Many drink stalls would ration the cordial into small portions and sell them at affordable prices so that people in the village could still enjoy the drink.
In addition, maintaining good health and consuming a nutritious diet was a challenge for people struggling with poverty. As a result, digestive problems were not uncommon. To combat digestive problems, consuming vinegar was a common folk remedy which also helped to improve digestion.
While street hawkers provided affordable and convenient refreshments, street hawkers plying their trade in pushcarts brought about a main problem of poor hygiene and unfresh food. In the 80s, regulation of the hawking trade caused street hawkers to vanish from Singapore’s food scene.
The Haw Par Villa and FreshJoy Story
FreshJoy is a Fruit Vinegar Drink inspired by the heritage and stories of the Teo family who have worked and lived in Haw Par Villa in the 1960s. Teo Veoh Seng is the last of a family of Singaporean craftsmen who maintained Haw Par Villa’s 1,000-odd surreal sculptures for the past 68 years. Other generations before him were also involved in the park’s operation. His father, Teo Kim Chua owned a wooden structure stand at no 41. Zehnder Road, selling drinks to visitors at the Haw Par Villa theme park. Located along the busy streets of Zehnder Road, the drink stand was founded in mid 1967. Back then, while it was a small and humble drink stand, the stall’s refreshing and affordable cold orange juices were popular among many. The senior Teo also sold glass bottled drinks like Kickapoo Joy Juice, Green Spot, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. In those days, most Singaporeans were not affluent and could seldom afford such drinks. So, Teo Kim Chua decided to sell freshly made drinks like orange juice, making it more affordable, bringing Joy to the general public.
In its heydays, Har Par Villa’s open-air park, a fabled tourist attraction was open to the public for free, reaching out to more than 1 million Singaporeans from all walks of life annually. People would scare themselves silly with the nightmarish statues and dioramas, visit the in-built zoo, watch opera performances, and enjoy delicious food and refreshing drinks from the hawker stands scattered around the park. A refreshing drink in hand while soaking in the surreal scenes from legendary works of Chinese literature would sum up the simple Joys of their lives.
Hence, FreshJoy would like to continue traditions built from the simple Joy of street hawking, combining both a fresh taste and heritage in a drink. While preparing our unique creation, nature’s best fruits and high quality vinegar bases are crafted into a nourishing power drink designed to bring Joy with every sip.