Katong Flower Shop
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Katong Flower Shop, a florist and horticulture business set up in 1948, is one of the first flower importers in Singapore. Located in Katong Mall on East Coast Road, this shop is owned by Mr. Low Teck Cheng.
Katong Flower Shop was set up in 1948 by Low Teck Cheng (b. 1924 - ), and it has since created a niche for itself. In post-war Singapore, the local flower business started to bloom as flowers were required for weddings and other ceremonies. In the early days, orchids and gladiolus were the favoured flowers. As only the rich could afford to buy these flowers, making them available at the shop inadvertently meant that the Katong Flower Shop catered to the higher strata of the Katong population. Although business was not booming in the early days, the steady demand for flowers kept the cash registers ringing. This flower shop was one of the first to import flowers from Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. In the beginning, chrysanthemums, carnations, lilliums and roses were imported. Later, the shop pioneered the import of flowers from Taiwan and Japan, followed by Holland, with tulip bulbs and hyacinths.
As Singapore develops, a gentler side of the country emerges and this sets the stage for the growth of the flower industry in Singapore. Five-star hotels use flowers in their displays, likewise hospitals and homes. Apart from using flowers to grace ceremonies and occasions, flowers also becomes a symbol to express tender emotions. Today, there are more than 1000 establishments selling flowers in Singapore, and flowers are imported from the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Costa Rica and Columbia. The Katong Flower Shop indeed brought in a new trend with their pioneering import ventures.
Low expanded his business to keep up with changing times. He opened a new horticulture centre-cum-shop in Tanah Merah and a flora centre at the junction of New Upper Changi Road and Bedok Road. The Katong Flower Shop became a family business when his son, Royston Low, joined him. Mr. Royston Low treats sick plants for free, a practice that is very much appreciated by the residents of Katong. The firm is currently doing landscaping as well. The business went online in the late 1990s, making it possible to order flowers, hampers and accessories via their website. In 2002, the shop started taking orders for flowers through SMS. The shop also went into franchising in the late 1990s.
The Katong Flower Shop organises the Singapore Flower Festival every year along with the Singapore Florist Association and Civic Flora. This festival includes the national floral design competition.
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja
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Katong Flower Shop. (2002). Company's profile. Retrieved September 1, 2003, from www.katongflowershop.com/profile.asp
Computer World. (2002, June 13). Flower connection: A two-way backend SMS function enables Katong Flower Shop to get instant order confirmation for its promotions. Retrieved September 1, 2003 from www.computerworld.com.sg/pcwsg.nsf/0/D96E9DFB5BCFD00048256BCE0016F018?OpenDocument
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The information in this article is valid as at 2002 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.