Alzira & Wilson Gomes
Sharing responsibilities is the backbone of their business. Do they have a favourite bread? “We eat whatever is unsold. Sometimes we keep aside pão, but if a customer does not want other types of bread, we give them our pão”.
The matriarch is an expert at giving shape to the different kinds of breads. She comes from a family of bakers. “My father’s brother was a baker. My father died when I was very young, I don’t remember him. I have a younger brother. He used to work with the Railways in Bombay, he has retired now”.
This young man has learnt the ropes rather quickly, earning appreciation from his boss. “Initially I found it bit difficult, my body ached after cycling long distances. I used to be tense about the sale of bread. But now I know the tricks of the trade".
Labour is a constant challenge for this entrepreneur. “Boys don’t prefer this work because they have to use bicycles on the job. They agree to the salary, but when they realize they have to ride a bicycle, they back out".
The festival man of Goa hopes someone will take on toddy bread as a start-up venture. "We know where the toddy is and where the baker is; and we know where the buyers are and where the sellers are. All the ingredients are ready".
Babuso S Simepurushkar
The toddy tapper continues working despite multiple falls from the coconut trees he climbs. ‘I get bored sitting at home, doing nothing’. His children have taken up alternate occupations. ‘It’s dangerous work. They work in factories, hotels; one son has even worked abroad for a while".
People drop by his busy bakery to place special orders. ‘Visitors from Bombay ask if we make toddy bread. I believe if we bake it, those who have the taste for this bread will come’.
Dolfy and his brothers got into the bakery business after moving to Goa from the neighbouring state.