THE GUAN HEONG STORY:
19th century Malaya was the destination for many Chinese immigrants seeking fortunes amid the boom of tin mining and other industries in the West Peninsular.
Among them was Mr. Sitt Kun Shan, who was brought up from a bakery family from Zhen Jiang, China. Picking up the family tradition, he and his wife founded his own baker business in Ipoh New Town in 1918.
Taken from Hokkien terms, the name Guan Heong signifies a passion to serve the original, high-quality taste of traditional pastry to his customers. The philosophy is simple, but true: we must present fresh pastry using high quality ingredients.
With the hard work of Mr. Sitt Kun Shan and his workers, the business grew from selling biscuits and Hokkien noodles, to offer a wide variety of products.
This includes Heong Pheah, Pong Pheah, Salted Tau Sar Pheah, peanut candy, sweet sesame crispies, sweet rice crispies, bridal cakes, mooncakes and many more.
Demand grew, particularly in the biscuits segment — so much so that Mr. Sitt Kun Shan made a bold decision to focus solely on biscuit making. Noodle production stopped, and he even travelled back to China to bring in more staff from his home village to work in the expanded bakery.
Growing through the generations: 1940s – 1970s
The baton of the business was later passed down to the second generation Sitt You Zhu, who steered Guan Heong through the post-World War II period in the 1940s and 1950s.
Business continued, but not without difficulties. But the brand would endure competition and low consumer spending, simply, by bringing pastries of the highest quality to its customers.
Business took a new turn in the 1970s with the third-gen Sitt Hock Lye and wife, who would elevate the brand with innovation — Guan Heong would broaden its product lines to include some of the most popular delicacies in town today: Meat Floss Biscuit, Meat Floss with Salted Egg Biscuit, Dried Meat Biscuit, pineapple roll, BBQ Meat Mooncake & Durian Mooncake.
Where we are now
The bakery has led the market with numerous innovations in its services. It is the first bakery in Ipoh to introduce door-to-door delivery service, led by fourth-generation Sitt Kah Yan in 2012. Not forgetting taste — Guan Heong created the hype for Hawaiian biscuits, which introduced the combination of Eastern and Western flavours in this wonderful recipe.
From its humble beginnings, serving up two products in the days Mr Sitt Kun Shan, Guan Heong brand today boasts over 200 products, serving customers all over Malaysia and Singapore.