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Epidemic hits sales at popular bakery

A popular bakery in Samoa is one of many local businesses struggling with sales amidst a worsening measles epidemic.

Normally this time of the year is busy for Sula’s Bakery at Moata’a – which reputedly sells the country’s best pork buns among other favourites.

But sales at the business has dropped drastically since the measles outbreak.

Sula’s Bakery Sales and Marketing Manager, Fuatino Mulipola, said they normally generate a lot sales this time of the year with school graduation ceremonies, student prize-giving and government parties.

But the business has not done well since the measles outbreak was declared by the authorities in October this year.

“There has been a big change this year compared to previous years, because this time of the year, there will be lots of events that we cater for at the end of the year – like school prize givings, government parties and other things,” she said.

“Now this is not happening anymore and I would say there has been a decrease in our sales by more than 50 per cent.”

End-of-year school programmes were also major sources of revenue for the business with Mrs. Mulipola saying parents bought their children’s lunch at the bakery. 

But that changed when the authorities ordered the shutting down of schools in order to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“Since the measles epidemic started and schools were directed to finish the school year early, this has had a huge impact on us because many parents come here and buy their kids lunch here," she added. 

The Government shutdown on Thursday and Friday this week is also likely to impact the business, but they have no choice and have to comply with the state of emergency orders.

“We were hoping that at least allow the shops to open so that we can cater to the public, but it seems we don’t have any choice but to comply,” said Mrs Mulipola.

Staff at the bakery, which is part of a mini-mart at Moata’a, were also concerned about whether they will be paid by the company during the 7.00am to 5.00pm shutdown. 

But Mrs. Mulipola said a meeting was scheduled with the staff to discuss their payment arrangements over the two-day shutdown period. 

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