Miyoshi: From Precision Engineering to Urban Farming
Since 1988, Miyoshi Limited has been in the consumer electronics, data storage and automotive business. They built products like top covers for hard disk drives for their customers, which contributed to the growth of their business for many years.
However, they started to observe a downward trend in this area of business five years ago. They decided that as a tomorrow-focused company, they need to take the initiative to map out new areas of growth.
Taking this opportunity, they look into areas where they can improve on the livelihood of people (民生问题) without harming the environment. In the process, Miyoshi Limited identified several areas of interest. And decided that industrial farming is one of the relevant industries they can focus on.
Leveraging the experiences garnered over the years in precision engineering and the resources available, they started their venture into urban farming. Over time, they perfected their processes and soon manufactured enough to supply F&B outlets and supermarkets with their vegetables. However, reception to these vegetables was not up to their expectations.
Many F&B outlets consumers and supermarket customers are unaware of the benefits of their produce (pesticide-free etc.). They cite cheaper competitive products as equally good because they passed Singapore’s food safety guidelines.
Open & Eat Salad Bar
Karen acknowledged that awareness was a key challenge. And to address this challenge, she felt the need to get close and interact directly with consumers.
With that in mind, Open & Eat Salad Bar was started. Karen created homecooked recipes that they use at the salad bar. These recipes use the Miyoshi farmed hydroponics vegetables as a base to demonstrate the taste and quality to customers.
And that really made a difference! Many began to like that these vegetables can be fresh, pesticide-free, and delicious at the same time!
Karen came up with the “Fill Your Bowl” concept; you can choose the various homecooked ingredients to create your own recipes. And this is popular among their customers, many of who have become regulars.
Providing a Healthier Option
Having lived in many other cities like Bangkok, Manila, and Shanghai, Karen observed that traditional farming has given way to industrial agriculture due to economic reasons. Extensive use of pesticides and chemicals are prevalent in the process.
The results? Contamination of the planet earth and more health issues arising from the chemicals people consumed as part of the food chain. The saying “病从口入” is so apt in this instance when we talk about the rise of unknown illnesses.
“民以食为天… So what we consume, Not only 吃的饱, 你要吃的好” – Karen.
Heartened to see the positive results from Open & Eat, Karen shared a vested interest in this initiative. She firmly believes that it is an entitlement for everyone to eat well, regardless of the rich or poor.
And that choice to eat healthier foods must be made available where possible. The accessibility to more nutritious food choices is what Miyoshi hopes to achieve as part of its tomorrow-focused vision.
Open & Eat Salad Bar:
📍 Gateway Dr, Westgate, Singapore 608532 (B2 inside Eccellente Supermarket)
📍 OE Salad Bar at Esplanade Xchange, MRT CC3. 90 Bras Basah #B1-13, 189562