Nowadays, staying at home and waiting for a takeout has been part of our daily lives. Ordering a takeout has therefore become one of people’s necessary skills. But if we went back to the Republic of China, how could we order takeouts? Don’t worry, you could call 0430 of the Second Telephone Bureau, and Tianfuhao would deliver food to your door by the specially purchased delivery bike.
This famous Chinese time-honored brand originated from an official descendant’s moving to Beijing during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty. In the third year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign, Liu Fengxiang, a native of Shandong province, came to Beijing with his grandson Liu Diming and founded the “Liu’s sauced meat shop” at the corner of Xidan archway. During the reign of Emperors Jiaqing and Daoguang, the sauced pork shoulder cooked by Tianfuhao was already well known in the capital and became a snack loved by dignitaries. Later, there was a saying that “recalling all kinds of delicious food in the capital, what I miss most is sauced pork shoulder of Tianfuhao”. The good reputation was spread to the palace, and even Empress Dowager Cixi spoke high praise of it after tasting it. She specially gave Tianfuhao a waist token to enter the palace and ordered it to supply a certain amount of sauced pork every day. From then on, Tianfuhao sauced pork shoulder has never been absent from the imperial banquet in the Qing Dynasty. In Beijing, it is recognized as “the sauce making technique has been inherited for a hundred years since Qinlong’s reign, and the waist token awarded by Cixi enables Tianfuhao to go throughout the country”.
The Tianfuhao sauce meat, which has been inherited for nine generations, is delicious and suitable for all ages. It not only is favored by dignitaries and celebrities, but also has become an essential delicacy on ordinary people’s dinner tables at festivals. The sauced pork shoulder cooked by Tianfuhao is famous in Beijing for the fact that its fat meat is not greasy; lean meat is not dry and hard; the pork skin is intact after cooking, and the taste is thick and mellow. The production processes are complicated, including deboning, blanching, switching pots, stacking, saucing while braising, saucing before serving and so on. The saucing while braising alone takes five or six hours, during which it requires so much attention to the heat and time that only practitioners with more than 15 years of experience can operate independently. This manufacturing technique has been included in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage protection list due to the characteristics of “precise material selection, complicated production procedures, and various tools”.
In terms of operation, over the years, Tianfuhao has adhered to the self-discipline principle of “the heart should be like a mirror; treat customers like our families”, and the working attitude of “dedication and devotion”, forming a unique culture of sauced food production, with “harmony”, “sincerity”, “association” and “prosperity” as its core. With the business philosophy of "relying on integrity, harmony, and ethics to achieve prosperity", it has developed from a cooked meat processing enterprise into a diversified product and service model enterprise in agricultural ecological planting and breeding, food production, cold chain logistics and so on. Tianfuhao adheres to the corporate mission of "enabling customers eat more delicious food, lead a healthier life, and have a happier family", and takes the corporate responsibility of "inheritance and innovation of Chinese traditional sauce making technique, and creation of a modern competitive excellent enterprise", so as to build a modern time-honored enterprise as the food manufacturer and service provider for ordinary people's dining table.
Today, Tianfuhao consists of many business entities such as production company, sales company, Tianfuhao farm ecological technology company and logistics company, with an annual market sales of one billion yuan, over 1,500 subordinate employees and a market value of two billion yuan. It boasts many brands such as “Tianfuhao”, “kitchen for white-collar workers” and “Tianfuhao farm”. It has created a reputation of “good cooking, good material and good taste”.
With a history that spans three hundred years, Tianfuhao plays the role of a participant and builder in developing Beijing’s food culture, and has become an important part of it. It is also an epitome of the history of changing folk customs in Beijing, especially eating habits for hundreds of years, leaving a deep memory of taste for generations of Beijingers.