Inaugural Outstanding Hawker Mentor Award presented at Singapore Hawker’s Seminar and Awards 2023; 3 winners out of 100 nominations
A total of nine hawkers were awarded across various categories at the ceremony.
The Outstanding Hawker Mentor Award was presented for the first time at this year’s Singapore Hawkers’ Seminar and Awards on Wednesday (Sep 27).
The new award, which acknowledges veteran hawkers for their outstanding mentorship of aspiring hawker entrepreneurs, was given to three winners. They are Tham For Moy, owner of Hon Ni Kitchen; Kang Kaiming, owner of Ming Yun Famous Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle; and Sze Si Wei, owner of Snow Mount.
Organised by The Federation of Merchants’ Associations Singapore (FMAS) and supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the seminar recognised hawkers’ efforts and entrepreneurial spirit since its introduction in 2021.
Six other hawkers were awarded with the Hawker Heritage Award and the Enterprising Hawker Award for their contributions to the local hawker scene.
Recipients of the Hawker Heritage Award include Tan Poh Chye, the fourth-generation owner of Tian Nan Xing Minced Pork Noodle Business, which was established back in 1923. Other award winners were Lee Hoy Chu, owner of Hoo Kee Rice Dumpling and Sulaiman Bin Abu, owner of D’Authentic Nasi Lemak.
In the Enterprising Hawker Award category, a notable winner was Teh Lay Bee, owner of Grandma Ban Mee. The hawker was commended for showing innovation through digitalisation efforts like venturing the business online to e-commerce platforms. Owner of New World Congee Ng Soon Heng and owner of Butternut Vivian Liem had also received the award.
The awards were handed out by Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Dr Koh Poh Koon.
Awardees were nominated by FMAS members, Hawkers’ Associations and individual hawkers. Nominees were then evaluated by a panel of five judges, composed of experienced hawker food advocates and representatives from the food and beverage industry.
Apart from awards presentations, the Singapore Hawker Seminar and Awards featured dialogues on ways to safeguard hawker culture and sustain hawker businesses for future generations.
Panellists included third generation owner of Ming Fa Fishball Mr Jerome Lim, founder of Ashes Burnnit Mr Syafiq, and fifth generation owner of Haig Road Putu Piring Ms Nooraisha Md Hashim.
The seminar also saw the launch of the Vibrant Hawker Culture programme that encourages ground-up initiatives to promote hawker culture. The programme expands on the previously introduced Vibrant Hawker Centers programme which ceased in 2020.
Through this programme, individuals and organisations could seek funding at $5,000 for each project and up to $10,000 per financial year for the same individual or organisations.