Hawkers of SG #92 – VOLK
I’m a graduate from SHATEC culinary school, with various experience in hotels and cafes. Around the circuit breaker period, I was walking around Taman Jurong Market and noticed many empty stall units. I thought to myself, this might be the perfect opportunity to finally start something of my own. I’ve been longing to start my own creations, and bring something different to this estate too. Also, this period made people more reserved, so the rent might be lower. In November last year, VOLK started operating, selling grain bowls and yakitori.
With my stall, I’m trying to educate Singaporeans to eat healthier, to become more conscious about their diet. However, I’m not labelling my food as healthy, but rather, a more balanced diet, such as the 40/30/30 diet. This isn’t just a journey for my customers, but myself as well! To make it more receptive to the general public, I added yakitori skewers, something Singaporeans are more used to and love!
It’s been about 8 months, and the most challenging aspect is the rising food cost. I can’t simply raise my menu prices, as customers do have an expectation about how much they’re willing to pay for hawker food.
When I think about our hawker culture, I see a lot of potential. It’s listed in UNESCO, and recently, we see more and more young hawkers joining this trade, coming up with their own creation. I don’t view that as replacing the traditional hawker food, but building upon culture itself, and that is exciting to me. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to what is being sold in our hawkers.
To aspiring hawkers, don’t be afraid to fail. It’s ok to fail, but don’t stop there. Treat this as part of your learning journey. I’ll be upfront and tell you that I’ve been part of many failed businesses. But this is the past, and through these experiences is when you acquire different and valuable perspectives. Rather than focusing on, oh, if you fail, there’s so much to lose, think about how much you’ll gain as well.
If you’re here, try our Sous Vide Chicken Thigh Bowl. It’s simple yet good. A lot of effort is being put into the chicken – it’s marinated and cooked for 1.5 hours at a precise temperature, before finishing off on the grill.
Taman Jurong Food Centre
(Delivery available via WhyQ)