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Taman Sampoerna

... spices, including cloves. In 1932, after the birth of a third daughter, Kwang,
in 1928, the family and the business had outgrown the house on Jalan Ngaglik
No.9, with Seeng Tee again needing new premises for his family and factory.
To him it was imperative that the family lived at the factory. Not only did this
enable him to supervise every facet of the factory’s operations, it also gave
his sons the opportunity to learn the business. This tradition of the Sampoerna
patriarch residing at the factory remains with the family even until today.

While the house on Jalan Ngaglik provided for his immediate family and factory
requirements, Seeng Tee was also keen to make arrangements for his extended
family. Seeng Tee searched for more than a year for a suitable site for his new
factory and growing family before finally purchasing a building complex that had
previously been the site of a Dutch-supported orphanage.

After surveying the site on a number of occasions, Seeng Tee finally decided
that, with some modifications, the structure would suit his need for a safe and
hospitable home for his family, coupled with the space to build his tobacco business
in a single efficient location. The compound consisted of numerous large single-story
open space buildings in addition to a large central building that was previously used
as an auditorium. Two residences, located adjacent to the central building, were
converted into the family’s quarters. The west residence was eventually occupied
by Swie Hwa, the elder son, and his family.

The other buildings, except for the central assembly building, were quickly converted
into blending and hand-rolling space with printing, clove processing, and finished
good processing all added by early 1934. The factory, now called Taman Sampoerna,
was a very busy place. Hand-blending would begin by 5.30am with both men and
women working at the blending compound. This compound was Seeng Tee’s favourite
place in the factory because he felt that controlling this process was the key to his company’s success. Hand-rolling would start at about six in the morning and continue
until five or six in the evening. From the time Taman Sampoerna opened for business
in 1933 until the War started, the factory operated seven days a week, 12 to 15 hours
a day, depending on the demand from the agents distributing the product across the archipelago.

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