Paris Bakery is a popular confectionery outfit in Ibadan. In this interview with FAVOUR BOLUWADE, the manger of the bakery Mohammed Ali, talks about what makes the outfit one of the most popular. Excerpt
Tell us about your bakery?
We are Paris Bakery. established on august 8 2016. We have our head office here in Ibadan and this is our only branch.
What do you do?
We make and sell pies, cakes, sharwama, ice cream and basically pastries.
How have you carved a niche for your company?
We have standards and we maintain them. The cake and ice cream raw materials are all imported, just because we want to maintain quality.
We chose Ibadan for her diversity. I was brought here after the place was opened.
How has it been working in Nigeria?
I enjoy working in Nigeria and with Nigerians. I have been here for about 25 years and it’s been fun. I speak Hausa language better than I speak my language actually.
What challenges have you faced in the business and how have you worked around them?
One of the challenges we faced was when we opened and our prices were very high. People would say they were not used to buying meat pies for N300, but N150. After we worked on quality and they saw the ambience, they started to pay. Even before the pastries, the environment was set to be beautiful .
It’s a place for relaxation. You can bring your boyfriend or girlfriend and your family here. Some customers come here with their friends and sit for nine hours over a bottle of water (laughs). But the bottom line is that they enjoy themselves.
Tell us about yourself
I am Mohammed Ali. I was born in Nigeria and I grew up in Kano. I am the manager of the Paris Bakery in Ibadan.
What’s your advice to the public in business?
I advise people to be hardworking. Hard work pays.
What recipe do you have for us?
Recipe of the week: Paris special meat pie
Mixed meat: 120g
Maggie: 1 cup
Salt: one spoon
Grind or mince the meat, if you haven’t done that yet.
Wash and scrape the carrots, peel the Irish potatoes, rinse these and cut into very tiny cubes.
Pre-heat the oven to about 170 degrees celsius. Place the potato in a sauce pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about five minutes. Drain, wash and set aside.
Meanwhile, crumble the ground beef into a large saucepan, add onion and water. Season with cubes, thyme and salt. Cook over medium heat, stir and crumble the mixed meat and mix in the spices, until the meat is evenly brown. Remove from the heat, and mix in the mashed potato.
Add the margarine to the flour (500g),a little baking powder and mix thoroughly until the mixture looks more like bread crumbs .
Gradually add little water and keep on mixing to get a stiff dough.
Place one of the pie crusts into a pie plate. Fill with the meat mixture, then top with the other pie crust. Prick the top crust a few times with a knife to vent steam. Crimp around the edges using the tines of the fork, and remove any excess dough. Cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil.
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the crust is brown.