We would like to introduce Maasai Bakery in Monduli Juu.
Not long ago, some of our friends here in Tanzania discovered that we like to cook. And we like to bake. We prefer our own home-made bread. Two of our friends, Paulo and Mama Naseko, asked if we would teach them how to make bread, so one Saturday we set aside a day for them to bake bread. We demonstrated several different options: loaves, rolls (also known to Canadians as buns and known here in Tanzania as scones), fry bread, cinnamon buns, etc.
They loved it. They said, “You should start making bread and selling it in the market!” And we said, “No, we aren’t here to be bakers. But you could start making bread and selling it in the market.” And so Maasai Bakery was born.
Paulo and Mama Naseko are using our kitchen for the moment, because they don’t have ovens and they haven’t enough capital yet to buy a stove with an oven. They make and sell bread, rolls (which they call scones), Pumpkin bread, Banana Bread and Cinnamon rolls and Ginger Rolls.
Ginger Rolls were what we call our “Happy Accident.” Our friend Happy was over at our place learning to make cinnamon buns, and Twyla pointed at the cinnamon bottle and said, “Take some of that cinnamon and sprinkle it all over the bread.” Happy grabbed the wrong bottle (Ginger) and sprinkled it all over. By the time we figured out the mistake, it was too late, so we made it up into rolls and baked it. It was great! So now we often make ginger rolls instead of cinnamon rolls.
Language Lesson: Ginger is “Tangawizi” in Swahili. So our favorite drink here is Stony Tangawizi (something like Jamaica Ginger Beer), and we make Tangawizi Chai (Ginger tea) and Ginger Rolls.
The Maasai Bakery is on its way to making money. Like all new businesses, it is a little slow getting started, but now they are selling everything they make and they have people asking for more. Their bread is much better than the bread which is brought into the market from Arusha!
However, like all new businesses, they are short on capital. They really need to have their own oven in their shop, rather than carrying food from our kitchen down to the shop. They would sell even more if people could smell the bread baking! They also need some counters to kneed on, etc. The don’t need a lot. They can buy a new stove for about $1500, and they can build counters for about $1000.
If you would like to help them, you can donate to Maasai Bakery through Sustain Ability.