Alzira & Wilson Gomes
Sharing responsibilities at the bakery is crucial to making it work. 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 our pão”.
The matriarch is an expert at giving shape to various 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 is in retirement now”.
The young man has learnt the ropes rather quickly, earning appreciation from his boss. He has been given greater responsibility at work. “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. If I tell them the pay is Rs 12,000/- per month they agree, 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 his occupation despite multiple falls from the 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".
Many visitors want to place special orders at his busy bakery. ‘People from Bombay ask if we make toddy bread. I believe that if we do it, those who have the taste for it will come’. Dolfy and his brothers learnt the trade after they moved to Goa from the neighboring state.