Kowloon Confectionery & Bakery Co (九龍糖果公司)

York Lo: Kowloon Confectionery & Bakery Co (九龍糖果公司)

Kowloon Confectionary & Bakery Co Image 1 York Lo

“Eat More Bread” ad for Kowloon Confectionery in 1941 (A Century of Commerce) 

The Kowloon Confectionery & Bakery Co was one of leading confectionery firms and bakeries in Hong Kong from the 1920s to the 1960s but has since faded into history. 

Sam Shong-won (岑崇運, 1895-1969), the founder of Kowloon Confectionery, went to Canada with his brother in 1918 where he worked for two leading biscuit and confectionery manufacturers – National Biscuit & Confection and George Weston Ltd for four years. In 1922, he returned to Hong Kong where he established Kowloon Confectionery at 68 Nathan Road to make candy, chocolate and refreshments. In July 1936, Tao Xingzhi (陶行), the renowned educator and reformer from the mainland held a gathering with the HK press at Kowloon Confectionery. By 1938, Kowloon also operated ice cream parlor and American soda fountain (Directory and Chronicle for China, Japan…, 1938) and by 1941, it also had a branch at the Alhambra Theatre on Nathan Road, the largest movie theatre in Kowloon at the time (later re-developed into the Alhambra Building after the War, see article on Cheng Keng-chuen) and Sam Shong-won was listed as a holder of liquor license for Kowloon Confectionery while S.F. Shum (likely his brother) was listed as holder of liquor license for Canadian Confectionery & Bakery at 16 Queen’s Road Central. (HK Government Report) 

In June 1949, Kowloon Confectionery opened its new factory at 23-27 Pak Tai Street and the opening ceremony was led by Sam’s fellow kinsman Shum Choy-wah (see article) and attended by friendly competitors such as Tong Luk-kut from Pak Kut Noodle, Ho Chi-wong from Chun Hing Confectionery and a representative from Lane Crawford & Co. (WKYP, 1949-6-18) Two months later in August 1949, 4 workers were laid off at Kowloon Confectionery. When Sam refused to pay any compensation, the fired workers took the issue to their union and the Department of Labor. (TKP, 1949-8-12)  

Outside of his own business, Sam was extremely active within his industry and in community affairs in the 1950s and 1960s. He was chairman of the Confectionery Association and Kowloon Food & Beverage Industry Association, vice chairman of the Tsim Sha Tsui Kaifong Welfare Association, director of the Kowloon Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Manufacturers Association (CMA), Yan Ping Association and Shum’s Family Association. (WKYP, 1957-4-18) 

In 1953, Sam and the 14 fellow members of CMA food Industry committee such as Tong Luk-kut, T.F. Cheung from Garden Co and Cheung Kut-sing from On Lok Yuen urged the CMA to purchase a permanent location not only for its own clubhouse but also for the annual HK Product Expo as every year lots of money and effort were spent on finding a temporary venue and prepping the site for it.  (TKP, 1953-3-27) Later in the month, he also urged the CMA to limit the number of stores and reduce the fees for booths at the Expo. (WKYP, 1953-5-23)

Kowloon Confectionary & Bakery Co Image 2 York Lo

Sam Shong-won (center) and fellow leaders of the Kowloon F&B Industry Association at the opening of its clubhouse at 739 Nathan Road in 1959 (WKYP, 1959-6-4) 

Kowloon Confectionary & Bakery Co Image 3 York Lo

Left: Kowloon Chamber of Commerce president Robert Der cutting the ribbon of Kowloon Confectionery’s new restaurant on Pak Tai Street in 1960. Sum Shong-won is to his right. (WKYP, 1960-5-13) Sum Shong-won and his family at his 60th birthday in 1955 (WKYP, 1955-4-23) 

In 1960, Kowloon Confectionery built a new building at 27 Pak Tai Street in To Kwa Wan where it opened a new restaurant serving both Chinese and Western cuisine. Robert Der, the chairman of the Kowloon Chamber of Commerce was guest of honor at the opening ceremony and other guests included John Tung of I-Feng Enameling, J.S. Pun of Hing Wah Battery, Chu Shek-lun of Chung Nam Weaving (see respective articles) and Shum Wai-yau of Wah Kiu Yat Po.  

Not much info is available about Kowloon Confectionery after the 1960s and Sum Shong-won died in Vancouver at the age of 74 in 1969. 

Sources (other than what’s cited above): 

https://gwulo.com/node/7516

This article was first posted on 6th March 2020.

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  3. Chun Hing Bakery, Biscuit & Confectionery Manufactory
  4. The Lane Crawford Bakery, Stubbs Road, 1938-1948
  5. Kapok(紅棉) and Golden Gate (金門) – HK Bakery Chains from the 50s and 60s and the family behind them
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  11. John Tung (董之英, 1914-1986) of I-Feng Enamelling
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