As part of the rebranding of Tong Heng Delicacies, &Larry worked with Nomura Design to rethink the store space in terms of functionality, branding and customer experience. The previous arrangement was typical of heritage shops in Singapore’s Chinatown, with traditional displays and cramped serving space that could only fit two small tables and seating for 6–8 customers at most.
The redesigned store is a physical incarnation of the brand ethos – with more space to allow for happier workers and a more enjoyable dine-in experience for customers.
One of the most important changes was convincing the owners to adopt a modern mindset with regards to product display. The 60's-inspired terrazzo countertops were lowered to allow greater staff interaction with customers and to allow the latter greater freedom to see what was on offer. The photogenic displays sit on top of storage compartments that keep multiple trays of freshly baked pastries ready to be served.
The L-shaped display even extends to the storefront, helping to entice passers-by and draw visitors into the store. During closed-door events such as heritage tours and baking demonstrations, customers can still make purchases from the new ordering window at the storefront.
The mirror running along the length of the store’s interior is a throwback to those found in Chinese clan halls. It is engraved with the icons and illustrations inspired by Tong Heng’s pastries and ingredients and serve as another point of entry to the brand story when curious customers ask about it. Other design touches include the use of diamond shapes on the floor tiles and the overhead lighting fixture – subtle references to Tong Heng’s signature diamond-shaped egg tarts. The new bench seating not only increases capacity, it also folds down for occasions that require more floorspace, such as during Chinese New Year and other events.
The new branding is also translated to the store's exterior, from the main signage and awning, to the custom lighted signage that beacons to visitors exploring the environs of Singapore's Chinatown.