Poi sellers there are a plenty but few with a story as endearing as Joao Menino’s. He makes whole wheat breads and sells almost 450–500 poi, pao and cutlet breads every day. The Godinho Bakery is three-generations-old and has the biggest wood fired oven we’ve seen. One sneaky look inside and you’ll know the kitchen (close to Majorda Junction) is spic and span.
This Third Generation Baker Sells Authentic Poi At The Majorda Station
What Makes It Awesome
Joao runs the bakery from what once used to be his parent’s home. He’s also sweet enough to let you walk and sniff around (ah, the smell of fresh bread!). Once inside, it's not impossible to see how lived-in this cosy place looks.
Godinho Bakery has got the biggest wood fired oven we’ve seen and Joao tells us that the only man in Goa who’d make these ovens got paralysis when he was more than halfway done with this oven. What did Joao do then? ‘Well, I asked the mason at my house if he could complete the oven top it for me. He was so used to making domes that after three failed attempts, he finally got it somewhat right. That’s how it started,' Joao tells us.
Unlike a lot of bread sellers, he uses whole wheat and toddy, just like the good ol’ days. He’s also a 70-something man who’s nice enough to tell you his story and show you around at leisure. He's retired from government service and despite doing brisk business, he needs to dip into his pension money to keep the bakery going.
‘I don’t do it for profits. There are none. I do it to keep the family tradition alive,’ he says. No wonder, everything's so slow, sweet and nostalgic here.
What Could Be Better
Nothing really. His breads are fluffy and pollie (wheat bread) and white bread poi are priced at INR 4 each, the toasts go at INR 80 a kilo. What’s not to like about this? We wish he'd at some point consider being on Google maps so we could spot him without quizzing his neighbours.
Have a big party? Joao takes bulk orders on the phone (dinner rolls, anyone?) with a one-day advance notice. Also, he opens 4pm onwards and is around till about 8pm.