SINGAPORE – While other children went out to play on weekends, Ms Connie Ng and her sister were not given a choice – they were expected to be at their parents’ bakery to help out with serving customers.

Though she was at first rebellious, Connie, 25, appreciated it later when she developed an interest in baking.

In an industry that struggles to attract and retain young talent, she decided to take the less conventional route and pursue a career in baking.

She is currently learning to take over the family bakery chain, Bread Story, together with her sister Jessie, 29.

Opened in 2000, Bread Story has two outlets in Telok Blangah, which sell traditional baked goods like toasted French loaf with kaya and butter to their customers, many of whom have become long-time fans.

Connie started working full time as a baker in 2014, but has been helping out in the shop for far longer.

Now, she spends six days a week learning baking from her father, and her nights learning business management and accounting from her mother, leaving her with little free time.

“It was stressful because I started with almost zero knowledge,” she said.

But she is kept going by her interest, and she has big plans to expand Bread Story in the western part of Singapore, and attract a younger clientele with new products.

“I hope more young people will become interested in becoming bakers despite the long working hours,” she said.

“It’s a tough job, but we all need bread to survive. And there are so many ways of making bread that people should learn about – baking is a fun job!”