Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2014 Contents SBG6 NEWS
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MAY 11 • 2014
The face of the popular
may be changing perma-
nently. Not only are there
single bara men on a
street corner but, now,
entrepreneurs across the
country are producing
this delicacy from commercial kitchens, sup-
plying multiple doubles shops, retailers as well
as providing catering services for company
events, weddings and all-inclusive fetes.
At least two families---the Persads and the
Alis---known for their long-standing connec-
tion to doubles, are expanding into the whole-
Meera Persad-Lutchman is the owner of
three outlets of Persad s doubles; all located
in Princes Town.
Persad-Lutchman makes all the doubles for
her three franchises in Naparima/Mayaro Road,
New Grant Junction and Bromage Junction.
She also supplies doubles to three other retail-
ers. While there are other members of her
family who run Persad Doubles outlets, she
is the only one who produces the food item
Speaking to the Sunday Business Guardian,
she said, her father started the business 55
years ago in 1959.
She employs five other relatives including
her son-in-law Vajai who is "the main breakfast
and lunch chef."
Persad-Lutchman also has four other mem-
bers of staff at each outlet and rotates family
members between the outlets and her com-
Work starts early and is ongoing.
On Mondays to Sundays, from 2.00 am to
2.00 pm, Persad-Lutchman turns out the del-
icacy non-stop in a commercial-styled kitchen
located at her residence, which is close to
Princes Town. They are then transported in
a van to the different outlets as well as to the
daily retailers. She supplies retailers twice a
day, in time for breakfast and dinner. The
demand is such that workers are sometimes
required to work overtime when they cater
for special events.
But doubles is not the only item Persad-
Customers can purchase sada roti or fried
bake, with a variety of vegetables such as bodi
and bhaigan (melongene), meats such as
smoked herring and liver as well as aloo pies.
Breakfast is served from as early as 5:30 am.
Three years ago, Persad-Lutchman decided
to expand her business by producing lunch
on a large scale at her three outlets.
Lunch is served from 9.00 am and the menu
includes: rice, dhal, chicken, goat and chicken
and goat roti.
Customers can also purchase coffee, tea as
well cold beverages.
Of the three outlets owned and operated
by Persad-Lutchman, the Naparima Mayaro
Road branch is the largest. It is air-conditioned
and can seat up to 20 customers.
Persad-Lutchman said her profits have been
on the rise every year.
"This was why I decided to expand by open-
ing three outlets and expanding the menu to
She described doubles as a growing business
and may consider expanding further by open-
ing additional outlets.
Recently, she began to supply doubles and
aloo pies for events such as weddings and
Meanwhile, Araby Ali, of Ali s Doubles told
the Sunday BG, that his family began selling
doubles with the Deen family at Naparima
College in San Fernando and High Street,
Princes Town in 1936.
They expanded the business in 1995, when
they began selling doubles at City Gate, Port-
of-Spain; that same year the Ali s entered and
won the National Doubles Competition, hosted
by National Flour Mills.
Currently, the business---formally named
Araby Doubles Ltd---is run from Ali s residence
Ali s Doubles has 10 permanent employees
which includes Ali, his wife, two daughters,
his son and five additional workers.
He employs additional staff during the peak
periods of Christmas, Carnival and Easter.
Ali said his family works the entire week
but his other employees are given Tuesdays
and Wednesdays off as, "those days are slow
days for the business."
The doors are open from 5:00 am but the
Ali s actually begin their day at 2:30 am. Work
ends around 11.00 am.
Ali said weekends are his busiest days and
slow periods are January and August. He attrib-
uted this to "parents needing to buy books
and uniforms for their children."
At Ali s Doubles, the average number of
doubles made per day is 800, with 3,200 being
made on Saturdays and Sundays combined.
They also makes aloo pies during the week
and on weekends you can buy other items
such as: pholourie, baiganee, kachori and
The cost of the doubles varies, according
to Ali, especially when "pepper and channa
But the price of doubles does not fluctuate
with the cost. Ali said the price of doubles
should be $5 but he continues to sell it at $4.
He also does large-scale catering.
For one such event, he produced 1,200 dou-
bles and hired two additional employees as
Ali said his business is occasionally referred
to as the "Police cafeteria" as officers comprise
most of his customers in the early mornings,
especially after their night shift.
Within the last five years, Ali added a second
The cost of these boxes is $10,000. It was
made of marine ply. The outer box is painted
with automotive paint and the inside with
According to Innovative Solutions Web site,
automotive paint is a "food grade paint, spe-
cially designed for the food storage and has
anti-fungal properties." With reporting by
From the single bara man to wholesalers...
Doubles on the rise
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