A living network that promotes and supports the small businesses and community initiatives that are crucial to the well-being of our neighborhoods.
When we think of bakeries and cake shops nowadays (2012) in Hong Kong, Saint Honore (聖安娜), Arome (東海堂) or Maxim’s (美心) are the default choices. After all these chains respectively have 100; 50; and 160 outlets throughout Hong Kong (and neighboring regions). That is a total of 310 chain outlets. Maxim’s bought Arome in 2008, further monopolizing the situation. The selection at Saint Honore and Maxims are nearly identical, and are typically known as 西餅（Western Cakes/ Pastries). Arome is a Japanese style bakery, and we all know how crazy we are with Japanese imports in Hong Kong. But let’s face it, the things that you buy from these chain bakeries have no soul and more importantly just don’t taste good. They are all manufactured in some large factory near the border, and then transported to the designated outlet shops in town for sale.
Then there is the alternative: traditional Chinese bakeries such as 奇香.
奇香 is a dying breed.
Like many traditional small businesses, 奇香 makes and bakes their products on premise, which keeps their baked goods fresh. The retail section is up front, with the baking area at the back. I make an effort to come here and pick-up a few things whenever I’m in the neighborhood.
Their 江蘇餅 first caught my attention, because they use yellow sugar (instead of white sugar), giving their 江蘇餅 a golden hue, instead of the typical white color. I have also grown to appreciate their 雞仔餅 , a bite-size biscuit with a sweet and eggy flavor.
The 2 guys that run 奇香 are probably the owners, and likely to be relatives.
They probably inherited the business from their parents.
I asked one of the guys if there are many traditional bakeries like them nowadays. And he said bakeries like them are becoming less and less. He said that the younger generation would only want to learn about 西餅 Western cakes, as the public are wiling to pay more for them, which is sad to hear.
So help me and this bakery to spread the word! We ought to keep these traditional Chinese bakeries alive! So our children can have more choices besides Saint Honore, Maxims and Arome.