October 24, 2021

INFO 10

THE TRUTH IN BLACK AND WHITE

Young Kwakwani baker pushing through despite challenges

Solomon McGarrell

Tamaika Phillips

T&K’s bakery has been a household name in the logging community of Kwakwani over the years and continues to manage satisfying customers with its scrumptious and delectable whole wheat/white bread and butter flaps. There is nothing better than a hot homemade bread along with your pepperpot on a Christmas morning. Residents of Kwakwani are never disappointed with T&K’s bakery’s effort to ensure all and sundry partake in this custom and not only partake, but enjoy to the maximum. This is despite the owner of the bakery, being a young woman, who may not have years of experience at kneading dough, but continues to put passion and determination into her business which has enabled her to perfect her bread-making skills.

“I grew up in a family that loves baking; my grandfather was a baker but T&K’s bakery all started with my aunt; actually, my second mother and when she got ill, I took over the business,” Tamaika (AKA Dessa), the proprietor of T&K’s bakery, related to INFO 10.

In addition to getting the rush at Christmas, the bakery is also prominent for their deliciously made ‘cross buns’ that are prepared for the traditional ‘Good Friday’ holiday.

The foundation of T&K’s bakery

The bakery was founded by Tamaika’s aunt, Valarie Campbell in 2006, which was later rebranded to T&K’s bakery in 2013, when her aunt got ill.

In describing her day, Tamaika related that it starts in the wee hours of the morning and goes on for long hours, just to meet customers’ demands. She describes the journey as a fatiguing one, with little time for her family, causing her to dislike the business venture at the outset.

“I grew to love the business, it was challenging; used to cut my lil sleep and having to stand all day to bake was tough, since we only had one small oven. It was small as a microwave, only permitting us to bake three bread at once,” she recounted.

As time progressed, sacrifices were made to boost their capacity and she would have since procured modern equipment to cut time and manual labour. Tamaika is now revelling through the industry while she continues to work effortlessly to satisfy her customers’ taste buds.

“After making years of sacrifices, I no longer have to knead the dough and bake three at a time; I’m now using a mixer and a large oven that facilitates the baking of 24 bread at once. I moved from facing the heat for 13 hours to eight, the proud Tamaika said.

In addition to selling bread, T&K’s bakery also sells delicious sides such as sausage and eggs to go along with one’s order.

Like many other businesses, T&K’s bakery is not exempted from the battles and adversaries faced with the downsizing of RUSAL, followed by the global pandemic, and the recent widespread flooding that hit the community.  As a result of these crises, cost of living has since skyrocketed, forcing the proprietor to tread a path she has never taken.

“This is a big setback. Prices for everything jacked-up, I was left with no choice but to raise the prices for my commodities by forty dollars, something I don’t like doing; I like suiting everyone’s pocket,” she said.

The proprietor envisions to delve her gifted hands into pastries, cakes and tennis rolls, as customers are continuously ramping up their calls for these items.

For persons interested in supporting T&K’s bakery, it is located opposite the Chinese restaurant in Kwakwani Park, Berbice River. You can also call 440-2278 or 601-2617 to place your orders.