Island News

Sailosi’s bread a favourite

Written By : WAME BAUTOLU. Sailosi Siriva woke up one day and decided that he was tired of staying at home doing nothing. That was way back in 2000 and
02 Aug 2008 12:00

image Written By : WAME BAUTOLU. Sailosi Siriva woke up one day and decided that he was tired of staying at home doing nothing.
That was way back in 2000 and today Mr Siriva walks all over Waiyavi in Lautoka selling home made bread from a wheel barrow.
He is not a baker by profession but after an attempt eight years ago, he became successful and decided to sell his home made bread only as a hobby.
What began as a hobby has now turned into a daily routine for the Wainibuka lad and everyday he would be busy baking bread for the Waiyavi community.
Mr Siriva does not sell bread for the money, he sells it because people in the area love to buy his home made bread and at times when he doesn’t bake, people coming to buy bread always leave disappointed.
“When people leave disappointed, it usually breaks my heart so I decided to bake bread everyday for my loyal customers. I’m not doing this for the money but for the satisfaction of the people around here and also for the love of baking,” Mr Siriva said.
The Wainibuka man said after baking for the first time he decided to continue with it.
His baking got better every time he would bake and after almost a year of practicing he decided to allow the public to judge his bread recipe by selling home made bread.
“Basically everyone around here love the bread I bake so basically I try to impress them everyday by baking the finest bread ever which is delivered right to their doorstep,” Mr Siriva said.
When he started delivering bread, he used to load all the bread in a box and take them around.
After sometime he brought a big red tub to carry the bread and now he uses a wheelbarrow which he had purchased two years ago.
When asked if he was going to buy a new vehicle, he just laughed and said the idea of purchasing a new vehicle is possible but at the moment he enjoys walking around delivering fresh bread.
The Wainibuka man uses firewood to heat up his two home made ovens which can each take a total of 50 loaves per load.
Before he started with just a huge pot where he can bake eight loaves per load.
The humble baker shows off his two ovens which he had made about three years back with his cousin.
The oven is made from old oil drums and it takes about less than an hour to heat before 50 loaves are being tossed inside.
While proudly opening his oven, he explained that he not only uses it to bake bread as he at times use it for baking buns, scornes and also roast chicken or pork for a family feast.
Now after going against all odds, the 40 year-old said he has no problem now of earning money for his family’s needs and wants.
Each loaf cost a dollar and not only has baking bread raked in money, he still continues selling taro leaves from his plantation.
“If I need $200 today, I could bake 100 loaves in the morning and another 100 in the afternoon and before the day ends I would have $200 in my hand but now, I usually bake 60-70 loaves and bake more if I do need the money.”
With fluctuation in the price of flour, Mr Sivira said his price remains the same due to the current situation the country faces.
“I don’t want to lose my customers and I also understand the hardships our country is facing today so that’s why the price of the bread remains the same. Like I’ve said before I’m not baking for the money but for the love of it,” Mr Sivira said.
But despite the hardships we are in, what hurts the Wainibuka man is the fact that young people wait around for handouts from the interim government.
He said people face hardships if they choose to be lazy and if they don’t get creative then they will struggle everyday.
“Most afternoons when I go around selling bread, I usually notice many youths playing and during the day time they spend most of their time at home doing nothing. There are many money earning opportunities out there but people are just wasting their time or are just too lazy to take a chance.”
To take a chance at something, Mr Sivira said divine intervention is important because everyone would need guidance from the Almighty above to guide them in life.
“If you believe in what you do and with the proper guidance from above, then impossible is nothing as you are able to break all barriers,” Mr Sivira said.
The 46-year-old doesn’t wait for handouts and had started his business from nothing. With many organizations around that are willing to provide loans for small businesses, Mr Savira said getting a loan could help but he wished to be independent and is satisfied with how things are working out for him.
“I’m happy with what I’m doing at the moment. Not only I enjoy what I do but people also enjoy the service I’m providing and many people around the country are aware of what I’m doing here.”
He said business people from Suva, Rakiraki or from the North usually drop by to buy bread if they are in the sugar city.
“Some come a day earlier and would ask me if I could have a few loaves ready for them before they return the next day to collect. People who usually do these sort of requests are usually not from around Lautoka and it is always interesting to hear about where they come from and how they came to know about my small bakery,” Mr Siriva said.
He said many from far came to know about his bread through their relatives who often visit them bringing a taste of Lautoka.
People from all over the country usually compliments him when they come to buy bread and if they have time Mr Siriva usually invites them inside his humble home for tea while telling them about his business.
While many usually encourage him to expand his business, he said it would be a big step but is carefully considering his options.
“Right I love going around meeting people while I sell my bread and coming home to my family. I am grateful for what I have so far and I thank the Lord for the strength he gives me everyday.”
Mr Siriva is not considering expanding his business at the moment but the Wainibuka gentleman said he will cross the bridge when that day comes.

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