A milestone as Kalito marks 20 years of transformation of Tanzanian cuisine

Dar es Salaam. Carlos Bastos Mella, popularly known as “Kalito”, has reached an important milestone: 20 years transforming Tanzania’s culinary landscape.

As the visionary behind the popular brands Samaki Samaki, Kuku Kuku and Wavuvi Kempu, all under the Kalito’s Way group of companies, Kalito’s influence on Tanzanian cuisine is deep and far-reaching.

This anniversary marks not only the passage of time but also a celebration of innovation, resilience and a deep commitment to cultural and culinary excellence.

Kalito’s journey began in 2004, when he arrived in Tanzania with a dream and the determination to succeed.

His passion for the culinary arts and entrepreneurship soon led him to co-found Samaki Samaki in 2007.

This seafood restaurant quickly became a beacon of innovation, offering a unique combination of local flavors and international culinary techniques. The restaurant’s success set the stage for future ventures, earning Kalito a reputation as a trendsetter in the industry.

Building on the success of Samaki Samaki, Kalito launched Kuku Kuku in 2020 in the city of Mlimani. This restaurant continued its legacy of culinary excellence, delighting customers with its distinct and tasty offerings. In 2022, it further expanded its culinary footprint with the establishment of Wavuvi Kempu, a business that not only highlights the lives and stories of fishermen but also underlines its commitment to cultural storytelling.

Kalito’s long-term vision extends beyond Tanzania’s borders. Their goal is to open more branches internationally, aspiring to make their restaurants the best in Africa and showcase Tanzanian cuisine to the world. “I want to get Tanzania out of Tanzania with a proper plan and a good team,” she says. His strategic approach involves meticulous planning and the creation of a competent team to achieve these ambitious goals.

The journey has not been without challenges. Kalito faces intense competition and a lack of advanced hospitality training in Tanzania. To address these issues, he established an in-house school to guide and train his staff, ensuring they meet the highest standards of service and professionalism. “The biggest challenge here in Tanzania is the lack of proper schools to train people to run such establishments, so I started teaching and mentoring them myself,” she explains.

Kalito’s business approach combines traditional values ​​with modern trends, creating a unique and authentic dining experience. He introduced the concept of having DJs in restaurants, a trend that many have followed since. His dedication to innovation keeps him one step ahead of his competitors, continually bringing new ideas and concepts. “Being different means bringing new things and continually innovating in our business,” he adds.

Customer satisfaction is at the center of Kalito’s business philosophy. It constantly seeks feedback to improve its services and ensure its customers have an unforgettable experience. “I want to satisfy Tanzanians by bringing inspirations from around the world and incorporating them here,” she says. His commitment to making customers happy and providing new experiences is unwavering. “I will make my clients happy and offer them new experiences using my passion and talent,” she emphasizes.

Reflecting on his 20 years in Tanzania, Kalito highlights the importance of humility and professionalism. Despite receiving praise for his work, he remains focused and determined. “When people praise me for doing well, I don’t relax. I keep pushing because I don’t want to fail,” he says.

Kalito sees his journey in Tanzania as a mix of challenges and blessings. He appreciates the hospitality and respect he has received and considers his stay in Tanzania an important personal and professional blessing. “As we celebrate 20 years since I arrived in Tanzania, I have learned a lot, including the warmth, love and peace of the people,” she reflects. His deep connection to Tanzania, which he now considers home, is a source of pride and joy. “I want to be Tanzanian because my children are Tanzanian and it is a great blessing for me,” he adds.

As Kalito looks to the future, his commitment to innovation, cultural storytelling and culinary excellence remains steadfast. He continues to travel and collect new trends in music, food, entertainment and beverages to keep his business on the cutting edge. “I travel a lot and learn how others run their businesses, then I come here and do it better, focusing on what my clients want,” she explains.

Kalito’s success story is not only about his business achievements but also his contribution to the cultural and culinary fabric of Tanzania.

As it celebrates two decades, it remains committed to bringing joy and exceptional experiences to its customers.

Her journey is a testament to the power of passion, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

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