The former Thye Hong Biscuit and Confectionery Factory at the junction of Alexandra Road and Tiong Bahru Road was one of the oldest biscuit manufacturers in Singapore. The 40,000 square feet factory was opened in March 1935 to modernise biscuit manufacturing and expand production through automation.
The factory comprised two fully automated plants which weighed 65 tonnes each and measured 300 feet long. In this stretch, conveyor belts would pass the carpets of dough from which the biscuits were stamped, baked, cooled and packed into tins. In the 1960s, the factory employed more than 200 workers and produced 1,500 tonnes of biscuits every month.
Every day, the factory produced a wide variety of biscuits ranging from Marie Cream Crackers, Horlicks biscuits to Jam De Luxe cookies, a popular shortcake with pineapple jam sandwiched in between. The factory also produced the famous Torch brand sweets which were served to air travellers abroad Malaysian Airways flights. The factory exported biscuits and confectioneries to Hong Kong, Fiji, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and even Mauritius.
Tay Cheng Tar (b. 1917) had worked as an accountant at Thye Hong from 1947 to 1981. He recalled:
“There were many departments within the factory - production, packaging, marketing and so on. The machines would operate through the night so as to meet the massive demand from overseas markets.”In 1981, a British firm Huntley and Palmer bought over Kuan Enterprises, which owned Thye Hong. The factory ceased operations on 7 January 1982.