While inflation and higher GST rates have been putting a strain on many Singaporean families and businesses, one hawker stall is doing their bit to help consumers cope with the high cost of living.
Since November 2022, 40-year-old hawker Hani Isnin and her family have slashed the prices of the majority of their dishes to just S$2.50.
The family-owned stall, since dubbed “The $2.50 Shop”, is located at Jalan Kukoh Food Centre.
The family hopes this initiative will help nearby residents of rental flats and disadvantaged families afford their next meals.
How the initiative started
In an interview with Berita Harian, Hani said that many residents from nearby rental flats did not have enough money to pay for the food at their stall.
After some discussion, Hani’s family decided to reduce the prices of dishes like lontong, mee rebus, and nasi lemak, which initially ranged from S$3 to S$4.50.
Although this initiative was at first met with cynicism from others, Hani’s family resolved to ensure that needy residents could get the food they need.
Their dedication to the initiative also means they operate seven days a week, barring short breaks for holidays such as Hari Raya.
The family also wakes up at 1:30am to ensure the stall is up and running by 3:30am. Longer opening hours helps the family stay afloat amidst high inflation, said Hani.
Hani also shared heartwarming anecdotes of how the revised prices have helped families with low budgets.
For instance, a mother with four children could afford nasi padang, mee soto, and lontong for just S$10.
Leaving a corporate job for her culinary passion
According to Berita Harian, Hani graduated with a double degree in law and economics from the National University of Singapore.
Despite more lucrative career opportunities, she wanted to pursue her culinary interests.
Furthermore, she told Berita Harian that she “wanted to live a simple life” and do something she likes — tending a hawker stall.
After leaving a two-month stint in the corporate world, she spent six years operating a food stall at Queensway Secondary School.
She subsequently joined the hawker business started by her parents in 2020.
Hani said that many, including her parents, did not approve of her leaving a cushy corporate job for the hawker scene.
Still, she highlighted that seeing smiles of her patrons and gaining satisfaction from doing good have made her sacrifices worthwhile.
If you would like to visit “The $2.50 Shop”, you can do so at #01-16, Jalan Kukoh Food Centre, 1 Jln Kukoh, S161001.
It operates daily from 3:30am – 2:30pm.
You can follow the stall on Facebook.
Top photos from Facebook and etleong27/Google.