The 70s and early 80s were not the best for Uganda because of the political turbulence that marred the country.
Back home, the economy almost collapsed; factories were in shambles. Basic commodities like sugar, soap and salt had to be imported from Kenya and if you needed a share of these imports, you had to endure the inefficient and costly black market.
These tough times pushed many Ugandans to flee the country to different places of the world such as the United States, United Kingdom (UK), Kenya and South Africa, among other places.
Those who fled to exile were exposed to the efficiencies of developed economies and many emulated the advanced skills of doing business.
Renowned businessman Amos Nzeyi was among the many Ugandans exiled in the UK. During that time, he was exposed to many business ideas.
Nzeyi had a special inclination to the bread business.
“While I was in the UK, I realised bread was one of the commodities consumed at a high level. As a result, I promised myself that if I returned to Uganda –a bakery would be a good business to venture into,” he says.
With some signs of stability in 1986 when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) took-over power, Nzeyi purchased bakery equipment and shipped it to Uganda.
Unfortunately, when the equipment reached Mombasa Port there were delays in transit.
“Because of high demurrages at Mombasa, I was eventually forced to dispatch the equipment via Dar es Salaam Port all through Kigali and later to Kabale because this region had been liberated,” he recalls.
As luck would have it, Kampala fell into the arms of NRM before he established the bakery in Kabale.
So he transferred the machinery to Kampala and set up his plant after which production started immediately.
A few weeks following the NRM’s capture of power in February 1986, Nzeyi’s dream of making bread for Ugandans came to pass under the brand name, Hot Loaf Bakery.
According to Nzeyi, one had to wait for imports from Kenya in order to eat bread and this would take time. Bread constituted more than 70 per cent of the imports into the country.
“That was unacceptable to me; that’s why I came up with the Hot Loaf bakery to bake bread for Ugandans,” Nzeyi recalls.