Hwong.com http://hwong.com News That Matter. Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:39:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 More gourmet grocers in Singapore selling premium produce, artisanal food http://hwong.com/2016/04/14/more-gourmet-grocers-in-singapore-selling-premium-produce-artisanal-food/ http://hwong.com/2016/04/14/more-gourmet-grocers-in-singapore-selling-premium-produce-artisanal-food/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 08:30:40 +0000 kbbczcentral http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1695 They join the more than 20 niche grocers that have set up shop here in the last four years, selling everything from Korean produce to meat and seafood from Europe and Japan.

Major supermarket chains here, such as FairPrice and Cold Storage, have stepped up their game too, stocking their shelves with organic produce and international goods to satisfy posh palates.

Last year, upscale supermarket chain Jasons launched Jasons The Gourmet Grocer at Orchard Towers in Orchard Road. The store features a gourmet cheese room and wine cellar, among other things.

Many niche grocers stay competitive by working directly with suppliers and farmers so as to cut out the middle man.

For instance, Little Farms’ chief executive Fred Moujalli, 41, maintains close ties with suppliers in his home country of Australia. He used to be the produce-buying manager for gourmet grocery chain Thomas Dux Grocer in Victoria and New South Wales, and was the head of buying and procurement for Australian home delivery service My Food Bag.

About 80 per cent of the products at Little Farms is exclusive to the store, where Singaporeans make up about 25 per cent of the customers.

On the market here, he says: “The biggest challenges are in educating consumers and catering to different taste buds. We want Little Farms to feel like you are at a farmer’s market, where produce is handpicked for you.”

Mr Moujalli and his staff take time to explain to customers details such as where a product is from and how it is best consumed.

He also tracks food trends closely, such as the craze for granola, yogurt- based protein drinks for gym rats and coconut oil – all of which fly off the shelves.

Ms Stephanie Duriez, 44, owner of Secrets Fine Food, also notes the demand for artisanal products from lesser-known producers.

She stocks restaurant-quality ingredients such as Bordier butter that are used in high-end restaurants here.

The Frenchwoman, who has been running Secrets Fine Food as an online boutique in Dubai since 2013, says: “Unique products made in small batches are not so common in the market yet. At my store, people have the opportunity to discover new products.”

For Big Box deputy chief executive officer Julia Tong, 55, keeping prices low is key. The warehouse retailer tied up with Japanese supermarket chains Gyomu & Megumi no Sato last year to bring in Japanese brands that are not commonly found here.

Examples include Kobe Chef mayonnaise and Gyomu’s house-brand of frozen fried rice.

Ms Tong says: “People like Japanese products, but find them expensive. I wanted to keep prices affordable.”

Many items such as sauces and condiments come in bigger sizes for better value, such as one-litre sesame dressing.

But with more niche grocers entering the market, Mr Masahiro Shimazaki, 49, general manager of Midtown Mart, is mindful of the challenges.

“A significant number of customers shop online these days and there are no easy solutions to manpower issues,” he says. “The outlook for niche grocers remains murky for now.”

Business is still brisk for older players, though.

At online shop The French Grocer, profits have risen about 10 per cent year on year since it opened in 2012.

Mr Guillaume Gallet, 61, its general manager, says: “Consumers have become more adventurous and are trying out food and beverages from foreign brands.”

But he, too, sounds a cautious note. “With so many competitors, the pie is getting smaller, so differentiation of products is of utmost importance.”

Gourmands looking to jazz up their pantry with more premium ingredients welcome the greater variety of brands.

Finance executive James Tan, 33, has a taste for posh nosh.

“I don’t mind indulging in speciality French groceries from Secrets Fine Food, especially when the staff can explain to me where the produce comes from and let me sample items too,” he says.

“The products also make good housewarming presents for my foodie friends.”

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Lucky the Leprechaun voice actor dies in NY at age 93 http://hwong.com/2016/04/14/lucky-the-leprechaun-voice-actor-dies-in-ny-at-age-93/ http://hwong.com/2016/04/14/lucky-the-leprechaun-voice-actor-dies-in-ny-at-age-93/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 08:26:54 +0000 kbbczcentral http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1693 The actor who gave a sprightly voice to cereal mascot Lucky the Leprechaun in TV commercials for three decades has died in New York. Arthur Anderson was 93.

Anderson stopped singing that Lucky Charms are “magically delicious” in 1992. He said he was constantly stopped in public and asked to sing the tagline, but noted that he never got any free Lucky Charms himself.

Before taking on the role of Lucky, Anderson started in the theater at the age of 10 and later on to radio shows. He also appeared on Broadway with Orson Welles in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” in the movies “Midnight Cowboy” and Woody Allen’s “Zelig,” and on TV’s “Law & Order.”

Anderson’s friend, actor Craig Wichman, says he died Saturday in Manhattan.

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Watch Those New Car Fees http://hwong.com/2015/09/22/angdentist-com/ http://hwong.com/2015/09/22/angdentist-com/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:28:26 +0000 Hwong http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1652 The last time you purchased a new car, did you analyze the fees before signing on the dotted line? It’s not uncommon for consumers to ignore the fine print. In fact, many make a purchasing decision without considering the total amount they’ll spend over the life of the loan. If the monthly payments are affordable and the car salesman agrees to a certain asking price, they’re in. However, there is an assortment of fees you want to steer clear of or negotiate down to keep your costs low.
Dealer Fees
These are the costs incurred by the dealer to prepare the vehicle for the showroom. Some dealers also assess an “Additional Dealer Markup [which] appears on the sticker next to the MSRP and is an artificial fee added by the dealer as a buffer for negotiation so the dealer can make a larger profit,” notes CarsDirect. If these figures exceed more than a few hundred dollars, that’s your cue to look elsewhere, as it shouldn’t take more than a quick detail job to get the car prepared for sale.

Registration Fees
In order to legally operate the vehicle, you must pay to have it registered to you. There’s also a title transfer and license fee that you’ll have to remit directly to the dealer, so the company can file the required documentation with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Contact your local DMV office to confirm that the amounts being assessed by the dealer are accurate.

Documentation Fees
You will also be responsible for the documentation fee, or “doc fee,” which is the sum of expenses incurred by the dealer to complete and file the sales contract and any additional paperwork associated with the purchase. According to Edmunds.com only 10 states place a ceiling on the maximum amount you can pay.

If you do not reside in any of these states, the fee assessed is at the dealership’s discretion, the article adds. To get an idea of how much you should be paying for doc fees, refer to this comprehensive chart from Edmunds.com. If the amount you’re being quoted is substantially higher, request a lower fee or take your business elsewhere.

Advertising Fees
Manufacturers charge dealers an advertising fee that may be passed on to you. But if the fee on your sales contract is higher than the fee on the manufacturer’s invoice, negotiate the amount or ask the dealer to absorb the cost.

Miscellaneous Fees
These include VIN etching, delivery and emissions-testing fees. If your car is manufactured outside of the U.S., you may also incur a port prep fee for options installed at the port. The good news is that these fees are negotiable and can be waived if the dealer is motivated to make the sale.

State Sales Tax
Anytime you purchase a new car, your state’s tax office wants its cut – no exceptions! Several states also collect sales tax on cash rebates. However, if you live in New Hampshire, Oregon, Delaware or Montana, you’re off the hook, although Montana and Alaska allow localities to charge sales taxes. And don’t forget the trade-in sales tax, which is based on the difference between the purchase price of your new car and the amount received for your trade-in.

The Bottom Line
While it’s important to determine the affordability of a new car based on the monthly payment, you should also confirm that the fees are reasonable. Otherwise, you will spend much more for your next vehicle than you initially anticipated.

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EFUNDESIGN http://hwong.com/2015/09/18/efundesign/ http://hwong.com/2015/09/18/efundesign/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 17:45:44 +0000 Hwong http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1650 EFUNDESIGN.com site is up. All your printing needs in Permas Jaya.

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S.K.SONG.com – Johor Bahru Lawyers http://hwong.com/2015/08/12/s-k-song-com-johor-bahru-lawyers/ http://hwong.com/2015/08/12/s-k-song-com-johor-bahru-lawyers/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 21:31:38 +0000 Hwong http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1644 Professional lawyers on property, civil legal issues in Johor Bahru. sksong.com

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Aveprinting.com – Commercial Printer http://hwong.com/2015/08/12/aveprinting-com/ http://hwong.com/2015/08/12/aveprinting-com/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 05:26:31 +0000 Hwong http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1639 A highly recommended commercial printer from Permas Jaya, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Their website is one of the best designed one in Malaysia. Pricing and services are great.

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MH370′s discovered parts renewed interests in social media news http://hwong.com/2015/08/02/mh370s-discovered-parts-renewed-interests-in-social-media-news/ http://hwong.com/2015/08/02/mh370s-discovered-parts-renewed-interests-in-social-media-news/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 15:38:05 +0000 Hwong http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1623 The recently discovered parts of MH370 in the past week has renewed interests in social media news and happenings.

Some scammers are taking this opportunity to send spam, scams and spyware through popular chat applications such as WeChat and WhatsApp.

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BCZ.com Updated New Portfolio Listings http://hwong.com/2015/07/22/bcz-com-updated-new-portfolio-listings/ http://hwong.com/2015/07/22/bcz-com-updated-new-portfolio-listings/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 04:11:08 +0000 Hwong http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1604 BCZ.com, the site that powers hwong.com has updated their portfolio listings to include us.

Seems like more entries are being added to the site.

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How to speed up WordPress – Part 3 http://hwong.com/2015/07/19/how-to-speed-up-wordpress-part-3/ http://hwong.com/2015/07/19/how-to-speed-up-wordpress-part-3/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 22:50:27 +0000 Hwong http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1597 Networking

1. Upgrade Drivers – to reflect the optimum speed of network devices.
2. CDN Installation – to distribute the images and static content over geographical locations.

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How to speed up WordPress – Part 2 http://hwong.com/2015/07/19/how-to-speed-up-wordpress-part-2/ http://hwong.com/2015/07/19/how-to-speed-up-wordpress-part-2/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 22:46:07 +0000 Hwong http://hwong.bcz.com/?p=1595 Hardware Optimization for WordPress

1. Storage Upgrades – Use SSDs if possible instead of spindle HDDs. SSDs are much faster overall. Only use industrial / enterprise grade SSDs and not the consumer grade ones (author been bitten a few times by bad “sector” of the drives). Otherwise, go for the hybrid types, where SSDs are used a cache to the spindle HDDs.
2. CPU Upgrades – Get a faster processor to process all the PHP scripts on WordPress.
3. Memory Upgrades – Get more memory for the heavy lifting of MySQL / MariaDB database.

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