They say time flies when you’re having fun, but this is ridiculous! Could it really be that on 20th May 1989 Margarita Ryan (my mother) first incorporated Red Gum? Twenty five years ago? Wow! But it is true, this year is our anniversary, and Red Gum is proudly a quarter of a century old – which is no mean feat. Singapore is a highly competitive market, and over the years we have seen companies come and go. Now it is our turn to celebrate!
When we first started back in 1989, my mum used to have me typing out invoices on a typewriter using carbon paper to make multiple copies. I still remember if I made a mistake there was no way to correct it. Because you simply could not type over what you had written with carbon paper as the second page looked a complete mess if you didn’t pay attention to what needed to be deleted. So many a time I got part way through an invoice and had to rip it up and start all over again. Trust me, you take care of what you write in a way you just don’t have to do now with modern technology. Of course, there are drawbacks to be able to amend and post things for the world to see in a matter of moments. Just ask Anton Casey!
Our first chiller was a rental at Pasir Panjang market. In the dim old days when those markets were actually on the edge of the island of Singapore. Now when you drive out there, you can see miles and miles of containers on dry land. How things change!
From there we moved to our first “official” location with a real office — Eng Kong! We had a lovely old shophouse that had been a little supermarket. I think it took three days to get all the old sticky tape off the glass front with a razor blade. The previous tenants had never taken off the tape when they had taken down notices, and it was extraordinarily difficult to remove. We had our own chiller with three-phase power which got zapped out by Singapore’s legendary lightning one Christmas Eve – that’s another story entirely. Anyway, this was where we could store our goods instead of dashing out to rental space in Jurong, which was where we moved after Pasir Panjang.
Having premises where we could have our own office, storage, and a little retail shop was a huge step for us. We were in a position of having to hire more staff (increasing our workforce from two to three *gasp*) and changing the way we did things. All for the better!
Moving to Enterprise Centre a few years later was a massive step. And things just improved from there.
Now we have our own office, our own huge chiller/warehouse space, and a production kitchen. No more storing olives in the dining room or generating invoices in the spare bedroom. Roland has put in so much time, effort, and plain hard graft (an Aussie slang word for “work”) and it shows.
As part of our celebration we have created a special 25th anniversary logo incorporating our beautiful golden gum nuts with a very classy number 25. Look for it! You’ll start seeing in on our trucks soon. Although never fear, some things don’t change – our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction remains the same!