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Taiwanese couple resists inflationary pressures to raise prices at bakery for 20 years

Couple gives away all unsold bread to elderly people or poor families at end of day

Fang Chen-nan (left) and his wife Tsai Nu-chu 

Fang Chen-nan (left) and his wife Tsai Nu-chu  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As consumer prices have been rising across the board in Taiwan, a couple who have been running a bakery in Yunlin County’s Tuku Township for 40 years have been insisting on selling their bread at under NT$15 (US$0.54) for 20 of those years, CNA reported.

The prices of materials needed for making bread, such as gas and flour, have gone up in recent years, but the couple has resisted the urge to transfer the cost to their customers, selling the bread at the same prices for two decades.

The husband, Fang Chen-nan (方振南), begins to knead the dough at 6 a.m., while his wife, Tsai Nu-chu (蔡女珠), shapes the bread and prepares stuffing, such as red bean paste. The couple work together to make 300 to 400 pieces of bread daily.

Fang told CNA on Tuesday (Dec. 28) that Tuku is a small town, with a population mostly composed of the elderly and young children, few of whom have much money. Higher consumer prices will make their lives more difficult, the baker said.

The couple gives away all unsold bread to elderly people who live alone or to poor families, so consumers get freshly baked bread every day.

In response to skepticism that they might have skimped on ingredients to sustain the low prices, Fang explained that they own the store and so pay no rent, while the two of them working together keeps costs down.

They maintain that they refuse to cut corners, and as they embrace the idea of making small profit with a high transaction volume, they are able to keep prices stable.

The food safety crisis that emerged in Taiwan seven or eight years ago impacted the whole food industry. During that time, the couple almost closed their doors, with Fang wondering why nobody was buying his bread that was made with such good ingredients. He said the two of them pulled through the crisis by working hard together.

Making affordable and healthy bread has been their passion for the past 40 years, Fang explained, adding, “All the hard work pays off when we see customers smile.”

Taiwanese couple resists inflationary pressures to raise prices at bakery for 20 years
(CNA photo)

Updated : 2022-05-29 07:06 GMT+08:00