31 October 2009

Expansion




I've been talking a bit of late about the increase in sales, but it warrants an explanation.

Alfonso, the chief baker has started to find me customers in the local town, starting with 5 here, 10 there etc. Then he came to me and said there's a fair sized demand for bread in the area he lives. "Cool" I said, take 20 breads home, sell them and bring me the cash tomorrow. Which he duly did - he's good like that. Then we went up to 50 breads a day and yesterday was 100! Now he doesn't sell these alone but has his wife in charge of it, and of course I can't let her do this out of the goodness of her heart, she must be paid.

As with all things involving money here, a sit down meeting was called, which also warrants the services of a translator. Luckily I have my friend and colleague Pedro who not only speaks Portuguese as a first language but also knows a thing or two about local labour etiquette so looked after my side of negotiations. I am of course exaggerating, and wasn't fighting for cheapest labour but needed a gauge on the going market rate. With that sorted I now have a third employee, albeit a casual and not on the books, but a daily rate.

Dropping off Alfonso one night with the consignment of breads I noticed he was carrying something else. In the car headlights I saw it said "Vende se Pao" ("Bread for Sale"). He had made his own sign with some left over paint and a piece of roof sheet off-cut I had at the bakery. Who said Africa can't do entrepreneurship! I'm really happy he has done this under his own steam, so much so that I went to Bela Vista - where he lives - to see where he had put the sign up. That's obviously what the photo above is of, although please note it isn't me standing there but my friend Mike.

4 comments:

  1. hey is that guy in the photo also for sale?

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  2. could be i'd have to ask him...

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  3. Hello, you have a very nice blog, and your photos are very beautiful, I wish a nice day, Radka.

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  4. Sure sounds like Alfonso and his wife have taken a keen interest in the business end of things -- wonderful to have some invaluable help, surely!

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