João de Deus Cardozo

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João de Deus Cardozo

Birthplace: Orda, Candolim, North Goa, GA, India
Death: April 28, 2021 (82)
Saipem, Candolim, North Goa, GA, India
Immediate Family:

Son of Assenção Cardozo and Simonia Ritinha Cardozo
Husband of Private
Father of Private; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About João de Deus Cardozo

By Jason Soares Think Simonia Stores and the picture that immediately springs to mind is an array of mouthwatering freshly-baked treats staring through the display showcase. The name is now synonymous with traditionally-made authentic Goan sweets and is one of the most popular bakery shops in Bardez. The bakery’s establishment dates back to 1963 when it was initially founded as ‘St Francis Xavier Bakery’ at Saipem, Candolim, by Joao de Deus Cardozo (J D Cardozo) with the support of his late mother Simonia Ritinha Cardozo. Prior to this, J D Cardozo had gained a wealth of expertise in the bakery profession during his long stint at Irani bakery in erstwhile Bombay. To kick start his venture, J D Cardozo approached the local landlord and financer Rafael Rodrigo D’Sousa who willingly agreed to provide him the required monetary assistance, a kind of angel funding during those days. At the outset, J D Cardozo would himself prepare all the baked products with a lone worker and friend assisting him. The baked goodies were later supplied to different shops and grocery stores all over north Goa using only a bicycle as a means of transportation. As time went by, a few more employees were hired and a store was acquired to market the produce. In 1969, the Mapusa store, named after J D Cardozo’s mother Simonia, began operations which eventually became a selling point for the baked items which included a few varieties of biscuits, toast and cakes. Later, the adjacent shop was also acquired which helped in extending the store to accommodate the ever-increasing clientele. After J D Cardozo tied the knot in 1970, his wife Maria Caetana also began lending a helping hand to the production. Over a period of time, traditional Goan sweets and other items were added to the basket.

From being a sole proprietorship entity under J D Cardozo, St Francis Xavier Bakery has now evolved into a partnership firm now known as SFX Bakers and Confectioners. The business is an entirely family-run affair that comprises J D Cardozo, Maria Caetana Cardozo, his son Assis Cardozo and daughter-in-law Jessie Cardozo. All of them jointly manage the various day-to-day aspects of the business such as production, administration, sales, etc. Two more stores at Porvorim and Saipem, Candolim were subsequently started. Incidentally, the bakery is completing fifty years of its inception this year.

The production portfolio today is a varied fare, with a wide-ranging variety of freshly-baked cakes, biscuits, snacks, toasts, bread, etc. However, Simonia’s hallmark is the traditionally-made authentic Goan sweets like dodol, doce de grao, bolinhas, boal, bebinca, pinagr and much more, which has catapulted the name into a formidable brand among the Goan diaspora the world over. Its sweets are much sought after by tourists and locals alike, who come by the droves for their own indulgence, not to mention the ones who also send packed goodies to their families and friends overseas. Simonia’s also accepts orders for personalised cakes especially for birthdays and weddings. “No design is difficult to create, with our competent pastry chefs satisfying everyone’s needs. We have always stressed on offering value for money products and consistent quality,” says Assis Cardozo. According to Cardozo, the bakery business has witnessed a paradigm shift in the last five years. “Inflation is the biggest hurdle when it comes to profits. Sourcing of raw materials is not a difficult proposition, but increasing costs of raw materials is a cause for concern. In order to maintain our profitability, we have to pass on this burden to the customers. Prices of raw materials such as eggs, fats, sugar, etc, which are the major ingredients used for production are regularly upward bound. However, it is not possible to raise the prices every now and then which can upset customers. So in a way, we have to absorb some of it by reducing our margin of profit,”

Another challenging aspect, he says, is getting the right people to work. “Employing locals is simply out of the question as they seem to be more interested in tourism-related jobs viz hotels, shacks and taxis. A majority of our workforce comes from outside the state. In today’s scenario, retaining loyal customers is much easier than finding and retaining skilled and dedicated employees. With the cost of living also on the rise, we also have to make sure that our employees are adequately remunerated. Without a competent workforce, a person can be forced to fold up his bakery business as it is a manpower-driven industry.”
As for its future plans, the family intends on expanding the number of stores in areas where it doesn’t have a presence. “We also plan to add more items to our existing product line-up by introducing healthy, alternative products for diabetics and health-conscious people. Our resolve will always be to maintain the same quality and provide customers their money’s worth,” emphasises Assis. 

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João de Deus Cardozo's Timeline

March 20, 1939
Candolim, North Goa, GA, India
May 20, 1939
Pomburpa, North Goa, GA, India
April 28, 2021
Age 82
Candolim, North Goa, GA, India