Neighbourhood shops in housing estates have taken a hit in recent years, with business costs rising and the labour supply tightening.
But in the heart of the Toa Payoh West housing estate lies a shop that has bucked the trend.
Nestled between a kindergarten and beauty parlours, ice- cream cafe Creamier has seen brisk business, and has even opened other outlets since it first set up shop in 2011.
The cafe, started by three business partners in their late 30s, serves hand-made ice cream, and attracts a crowd of yuppies and youth from different parts of the island.
Mr Chee Hong Tat (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) yesterday cited Creamier as an example of how innovation can help Housing Board shops thrive.
The Minister of State for Communications and Information, and Health, speaking on the second day of the debate on the President's Address, suggestedlocating start-up hubs in the heartland to attract more such businesses, and rejuvenate the neighbourhoods.