Champion Bolo Bun: This 22-year-old S’porean sells up to 1,200 buns a day with no marketing

champion bolo bun

Champion Bolo Bun

I never dreamt of doing this; it was just a bunch of lucky coincidences

Hoh Loyi

The 22-year-old is the chef-owner of Champion Bolo Bun, a cafe that is quickly achieving cult status as one of the best places to get the delectable bolo bun in Singapore.

For those unacquainted, bolo bun is a classic Hong Kong cha chaan teng pastry that features a buttery, crusty top that resembles a pineapple with a soft and pillowy exterior cradling a slab of butter.

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Against the trendy Korean BBQ joints and burgeoning cafes overflowing with croissants, you can’t deny it is a bold move to have a cafe that only featured the humble bolo bun.

The path towards success in the F&B scene in Singapore is never smooth or easy. In fact, Loyi took many left turns before she arrived at where she is today.

Unlike most 16-year-olds after completing their ‘O’ levels, Loyi didn’t enter polytechnic or junior college. Instead, Loyi cut her teeth in the baking world in Taiwan, where she pursued a bread-baking certificate for a year.

Still, like most of us finding ourselves, Loyi was unsure of what her calling would be. Then, while on holiday in Hong Kong, everything seemed to click and fall into place.

“I was eating the old bolo bun from the same old shop that my brothers and I grew up eating. I decided to just talk to the kitchen (staff) and then see who is interested in taking in an apprentice,”

Hoh Loyi

The kitchen was rather reluctant to accept her initially, seeing as she was so young and only a PR in Hong Kong, but Loyi was determined as ever and eventually found herself in their kitchen learning all she could about Hong Kong pastries.

An education unlike any other, instead of the usual after-school escapades or cramming with friends for tests, Loyi found herself kneading dough and surrounded by friendly, avuncular older bakers who took her under their wing.


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