Look Back: A hot idea for making money

Mere Tuisalalo Samisoni in 1982. Picture: FILE

Sunday, May 16, 1982 Fiji has a lot of potential and opportunity for people to develop in commerce and business, says Mere Tuisalalo Samisoni, the manager and owner of the Hot Bread Kitchen.

The mini-bakery in Suva’s Harbour Centre has been a hot success from its opening day.

Mere lived in Brisbane, Australia, with her doctor husband Jimione for more than 18 years and while there “caught” the mini-bakery idea from a local operation called Bedgoods Hot Bread Kitchen.

“We became impressed with the concept, the quality of the bread and the service,” she told The Fiji Times of May 16 1982.

“I remember nostalgically the smell of fresh bread.”

She was convinced that fresh hot bread would sell. From the early 1970s, the Bedgood’s family and the Samisonis toyed with the idea of a company in Fiji and after Mr Bedgood visited Fiji, they registered a company, Bedsoni Enterprises.

“I visited frequently from Brisbane to locate a site for the Hot Bread Kitchen,” Mere said.

Mr Bedgood finally opted out and Mere hunted for local partners. She found Tony Philp of Pizza Hut and Tradewinds and Tiko Eastgate of the Lifeboat Restaurant.

“We needed somebody who knew all about bread making and so offered a share to our bread baker.”

So, with the best brains, the Harbour Centre site and equipment from a mixer to oven installed, Bedsoni Enterprises got down to business.

Its obvious success is leading to a second branch in Raiwaqa, due to open in a week or so, then another branch in Samabula.

Mere is hoping that when all three branches are operating and the custom is distributed evenly, the Hot Bread Kitchen could diversify into baking muffins, cakes and fancy sweet things.

At the moment the demand for hot bread is so great that batches keep appearing on the rack every half hour from morning to night until there are no customers to serve.

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