Report by : Alfie D'Souza Team Mangalorean
Carterers come, Caterers go--but one Confectioners cum Caterers that has been serving Mangalore and far beyond, for the last 87 years is none other than M.D'Souza and Sons- Bakers, Confectioners and Caterers. A business that started very small has now grown to greater heights through the blessings and support shown by their esteemed clients. Nowadays you see quite a few caterers in and around town, and if you ask some of them they will tell you, that their inspiration was John D'Souza of M. D'Souza and Sons.
Late Magdalene D'Souza
Founder & Lady Entrepreneur of M D'Souza & Sons
John & Gracy D'Souza
Loy & Divya D'Souza with their Kids, Leisha & Sasha
Contrary to what some say, the food does matter. Wedding season is the perfect time to get your feet wet as a caterer. But catering is not a easy enterprise--it needs lots of patience, knowledge and experience. It is also a challenging business, where it is imperative to be on time and well organized, accommodating clients' needs while meeting the challenge of cooking in unfamiliar territory on an ongoing basis. Catering also requires high knowledge and experience of culinary expertise as well as tolerance for working long hours. And with all these strength and qualities, M.D'Souza Caterers has been in the family business for nearly 87 years, and they have brought many skills and talents from food service experience, wedding planning and event coordination, and they are excited to use all that experience and knowledge to help those they serve.
Going back to the history - the beginning of M.D'Souza and Sons was without a name nor a title. It was a small bakery started by Piad D'Souza, father of John D'Souza. After Piad D'Souza's death John D'Souza ran the business for decades, until last year when he handed over the business completely to his son Loy D'Souza, because of health conditions. It was the year 1925 when the humble beginning of this great venture in Bakery and Confectionery business started at Bokkapatna, where the catering factory is still located.
Sadly, Piad D'Souza passed away when John was hardly six years old, then for the next 18 years it was a hand to mouth existence to Magadalene D'Souza, wife of Piad D'Souza. It was her determination and hard work that kept this business going until they moved to Market Road, Hampankatta after nearly 18 years of existence. While Piad D'Souza hailed from Bantwal, his wife Magdalene was born in Neermarga, Mangalore. The couple brought up a family of six children, two boys and four girls. The name of the company is derived from the Mother's name Magdalene. As the necessity to name the venture arose only after the death of the pioneer Piad D'Souza, when the real success story of this venture started under the determined efforts of Magdalene D'Souza, a lady entrepreneur.
It was a time when village atmosphere did not compel one to name their business. As peoples faith and confidence in the honesty and dedication of John D'Souza increased, the name and fame of M. D'Souza and Sons started spreading all over the district. His novelty of making special exhibition cakes during Christmas time attracted Mangaloreans of all hue and colour to him. John D'Souza was a person of passion, aggressive, jovial, out-going personality, very generous, a leader (with) willingness to do the lowest to highest jobs on the totem pole. For his impeccable service to the catering industry, a few service organizations have presented John with appreciation awards.
Decades back catering was confined to only Tea Parties. Nobody used to cater lunches or dinners. During this time it was John D'Souza of M. D'Souza and Sons who tried his hand at catering of lunches and dinners. And it turned out to be a noble idea. Till then all wedding dinners were prepared at home by the parties involved and their friends. So for decades M. D'Souza and Sons ruled supreme in this catering industry. The beginning was tough, collecting utensils to cook and serve hundreds to thousands of people. Eventually they managed to improve and grow with a new style of serving, uniformed servers, suit-clad supervisors, strict discipline and attending to the guests individually and personally, not only brought in a new marketing concept but also the main reason for the roaring popularity and success of M. D'Souza and Sons.
Operating a catering business wasn't a easy task--there were obstacles here and there throughout the years. One by one, the obstacles were surmounted as John D'Souza thought about opportunities not obstacles. Through his vision and perseverance, M.D'Souza Caterers grew to become one of the leading caterers in Mangalore with an impressive roster of thousands and thousands of customers. And now, with Loy D'Souza, the son of John D'Souza at the helm of the family business,( also joined by his wife Divya) with unique ideas, ultra modern and innovative approach to wedding catering services have made them the most thought after caterers and have also caused their competitors to spread malicious rumours that they have closed their business completely, where in reality, they have only closed their bakery, a famous landmark on Market Road, especially ebbing with customer frenzy during Christmas season, featuring decorative cakes, kuswar and other sweet meats.
M D'Souza Caterers have catered parties from hundred people up to 50,000 people at a time. The biggest catering event that they had was an International affair in the year 1984. John D'Souza says with nostalgia when they catered breakfast to over 50,000 pilgrims for two days, who had come to see Pope John Paul when the pontiff had visited Bajpe, Mangalore in 1984. The other big catering event was lunch for nearly 12,000 people who were invited for the ordination of Bishop of Mangalore, Rev. Aloysius D'Souza. The biggest wedding dinner catering was for the wedding reception of Wilfred D'Souza, of Souza Brothers, Puttur, for a crowd of over 6000. Another great event of satisfaction was when they handled breakfast, lunch and dinner for about 3000 delegates for seven days when All India National Games were held in the year 1988 at the Mangala Stadium.
Like they say that every daughter wants to follow in her mother's footsteps, so did Loy's wife Divya D'Souza. Divya's mom Jyothi, is an excellent cook, and when they were in Gulf for many years Divya right from her teen days had learned the culinary talents from her mom. I have tasted some of Divya's dishes prepared meticulously by her, and all I can say is that they are simply finger lickin' good ! She is also planning on bringing out a cook book, featuring new and authentic dishes. It was Divya's unique and innovative idea to introduce salad bar with vegetable and fruit carving with exclusive salad counters. M.D'Souza Caterers were the first to introduce the salad bar concept in Mangalore. Salads are their forte, boasting of over 100 varieties of salads including Arab, Italian, Thai and from other parts of the world. They have also spearheaded the change in the Mangalorean wedding menu which would normally be Pork Bafat, Indad, Sorpothel or other traditional Mangalorean delicacies, by introducing a multi-cuisine menu, with continental dishes like Chicken a-la-King, Pork in BBQ sauce, Pork Schezwan, Thai Chicken Satay, Hot Garlic Pork, and much more. Their unique dishes have paved the way for creative menus for wedding banquets.
M D'Souza Caterers focus on all round presentation, from the waiters attire to the buffet counters. Professionalism is the key word, as they have a strong commitment towards quality and service. They are in an constant endeavour to update themselves, their dishes, tantalising snacks and food ideas, to give their clients the ultimate food experience. They are also moving in the direction of theme weddings, creative weddings etc; for some of their clientele who plan their weddings at least a year in advance and have some extremely different ideas and themes for their 'Big Day'.
As a very close friend of the D'Souza family, I know how hard the whole family works during the peak catering season-and while admiring their responsibilities and duties, I figured out that catering in general, and wedding catering in particular are such stressful jobs that besides the passion to provide great food, courteous service, knowledgeable arrangements, you also have to have the passion to work long, different hours, sometimes until the wee hours. And John D'Souza and his wife, Gracy; and Loy and his wife Divya have all gone through this stressful, but yet a joyful and professional business, and they feel proud of their achievements.
Finally I asked Loy and Divya what they have say about their catering venture. They replied, "We love what we do, we can't imagine another path to take. It is the most rewarding business if planned well and done well. The joy you bring to the clients and guests gets us through the most difficult of days. We have succeeded in making amazing list of new friends, and life long memories that we don't get from sitting at home or behind the office desk. I think with time, dedication and perseverance we have been successful in our venture. We whole-heartedly thank our well-wishers and customers for their blessings and support ".
So if you are planning a wedding celebration or a party of any kind, M. D'Souza Caterers will be the best caterers you can count on. You simply arrange the party, and M D'Souza Caterers will do the rest. And if you mention that you read about M D'Souza caterers in mangalorean.com, Loy D'Souza will offer you a special gift.
For more details or booking contact:
M D'Souza Caterers,
Opp. Colaco Hospital,
Upper Bendur, Mangalore: 575002
Phone: 0824-6514896 (O); 9341173111 or 9342273111(Cell)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or email@example.com