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Despite the uncertainty a pandemic brings, some fledgling F&B brands and stalwarts alike are taking the opportunity to expand their operations. Old Amoy Chendol, first opened in 2017 at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre (which closed from 12 to 15 Sept because of a recent Covid-19 cluster) by 35-year-old Zhao Youning, is no exception. He quietly opened an outpost in Alexandra Village Food Centre last December, followed by two more stalls in Dunman Food Centre and at a kopitiam in Punggol in early September this year. Another three stalls are slated this October — one of which will be in a mall’s food court in the heartlands, his first outside of a hawker setting.

Old Amoy Chendol made its name selling only one item in one size: $2 for a bowl of chendol that has every component made in-house (down to extruding pandan jelly 'worms' by hand and cold-pressing coconut milk). Its name, Old Amoy Chendol, refers to Amoy Street, where the hawker’s late grandfather operated a pushcart selling the dessert back in the ’50s. 

The hawker, who’s currently self-isolating at home in the wake of the recent cluster, tells us that he had to throw away “$3,000 worth of ingredients” from his second stall in Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, which he uses for producing most of his ingredients. He will only reopen the stall there on September 20 after disinfecting it once more.  

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