Our Group’s history can be traced back to the incorporation of White Cafe in 1999, with the intention to provide quality white coffee to Malaysian households and the food services industry, the co-founders and Executive Directors, Mr Goh Ching Mun and Mr Tan Say Yap formulated their own blend of 3-in-1 instant white coffee and commenced manufacturing in 1999. With more than 10 years of experience in the coffee beverage industry, both our co-founders were instrumental in the growth of the Oldtown Group of companies.
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They are supported by Mr Lee Siew Heng, our Group Managing Director who played a significant role in implementing the overall vision, strategy and development of the Oldtown Group. In 1999, we successfully commercialised our instant 3-in-1 coffee mix under the ‘OLDTOWN’ brand name for the retail sector. As at 31 October 2009, our ‘OLDTOWN’ 3-in-1 instant coffee mix was sold in approximately 1,348 retail outlets nationwide in Malaysia, approximately 550 retail outlets in Singapore and approximately 2,100 retail outlets in Hong Kong. In 2000, we commenced our first export of the ‘OLDTOWN’ brand of 3-in-1 instant coffee mix to Singapore.
In 2001, our subsidiary, White Cafe Marketing commenced operations as the marketing arm for our Group’s beverage products. During the same year, we also expanded our product line to include different variations of our instant coffee mix and have also expanded our export markets to Hong Kong for our instant coffee mix.
In year 2002, White Cafe obtained a HALAL certification from the Islamic Religious Department of Perak for the Group’s beverages. This is part of our Group’s intentions, which is to produce our beverages in accordance with the Islamic law. In the same year, we successfully expanded our nationwide retail distribution of our 3-in-1 instant coffee mix to cover East and West Malaysia through major hypermarkets and supermarkets. In 2003, we also successfully commercialised our own formulated blend of 3-in-1 instant milk tea for the retail market under the ‘OLDTOWN’ brand name.
In view of expanding our manufacturing activities, we incorporated Gongga Food in 2003 and commenced operations
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in 2004 manufacturing roasted coffee powder for the food services sector using the Group’s proprietary bean roasting process. We distributed our roasted coffee powder to traditional coffee shops in Ipoh and other states in Malaysia. In addition to the food services sector, our roasted coffee powder is also marketed to the retail sector under the ‘NANYANG’ brand.
In 2004, we further penetrated the export markets for our 3-in-1 instant coffee to cover the United States, Canada and United Kingdom and subsequently in 2005, Taiwan and Indonesia. In 2005, we expanded vertically into the food services sector by opening a chain of cafe outlets based on the traditional Ipoh coffee shop setting and ambience under the ‘OLDTOWN WHITE COFFEE’ brand name. This is part of the Group’s strategy of capitalising and reinforcing on the ‘OLDTOWN WHITE COFFEE’ brand in the food services industry. In the same year, Kopitiam Asia Pacific commenced operations in the licensing, supply of food, beverages and other items, and provision of management services to ‘OLDTOWN WHITE COFFEE’ cafe outlets.
Since the opening of our first ‘OLDTOWN WHITE COFFEE’ cafe outlet in Ipoh in 2005, our chain of cafe outlets have expanded to reach 137 cafe outlets in Malaysia and Singapore as at 31 October 2009. This includes fully and partially owned, and franchised cafe outlets. In 2005 and 2006, we established our subsidiaries namely Old Town Kopitiam, Old Town Kopitiam Butterworth, Old Town Kopitiam Kuala Lumpur, Old Town Kopitiam Cheras, Conneczone to focus on operating cafe outlets in different areas and states within Malaysia. To support our cafe outlet business operations, we established the following subsidiaries as central food processing centres between 2005 and 2007: -Emperor’s Kitchen commenced operations in 2005; -Esquire Chef commenced operations in 2007; -Dynasty Confectionery commenced operations in 2007. In 2005, Gongga Food’s business activities also expanded to cater to the procurement of food items for ‘OLDTOWN WHITE COFFEE’ cafe outlets. In the same year, Gongga Food also obtained a HALAL certification from the Islamic Religious Department of Perak for the production of its roasted coffee powder. In the same year, our subsidiary.
White Cafe obtained a HACCP certification from BM TRADA Certification Ltd for the processing and manufacturing of beverage products. In 2006, we expanded our export markets to Japan and China. In the same year, we incorporated Dynasty Kitchen as a distribution centre, which commenced operations in 2007. During this year, we also incorporated Oldtown Berhad, which will focus on investment holding and provision of management services pursuant to its listing on the Main Market of Bursa Securities. Subsequently we also started exporting to Thailand and the Philippines. In view of our plans to expand our cafe outlet business operations to Singapore, we incorporated Oldtown Singapore in 2007 to provide management services, supply of food and beverage items to cafe outlets in Singapore. OTK Singapore commenced operations in 2008 with the launch of our first ‘OLDTOWN WHITE COFFEE’ cafe outlet in Singapore.
In 2008, our subsidiaries, Dynasty Confectionery and Esquire Chef obtained HALAL certifications from the Islamic Religious Department of Perak for the processing of various food. Our other food processing subsidiary, Emperor’s Kitchen obtained HALAL certification from the IFRC ASIA.
To further affirm our adherence to international food safety standards, our subsidiary, White Cafe achieved ISO 22000:2005 certification and ISO 9001:2000 from BM TRADA Certification in 2008 in addition to GMP certification by the Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia in the same year. Within 2008, we also expanded our product line to include 3-in-1 instant coffee mix with cane sugar. In 2009, Gongga Food obtained a HACCP certification from BM TRADA Certification Ltd for the production of roasted coffee powder.See More on Coffee