My Brief Story
Chef Manny Goncalves
After serving for four years in the Portuguese army fighting in a war that has been going on for 11 years leaving many thousands of victims on both sides. ‘FRELIMO’ (Movement for the Liberation of Mozambique), was the entity on the other side of the fence! I finally went back to the well deserved civilian life and tried to make life meaningful again. Trying my best to overcome the trauma that a war scars on one’s mind and body, I decided to start living again to the best of my ability and a few months later I was engaged and later married the girl of my dreams - Ana Maria.
Almost a year later, we had our first baby boy Luis. Just days before he was born and while we were celebrating the upcoming Independence of Mozambique that has been agreed and announced by the Central Portuguese government in Lisbon, uncontrolled fiery riots broke out, leaving another large number of victims all over the country. I had no option, just like many thousand of others, to flee from that mess and to take my new family to a safe place. Many went to the sea ports, others to the airports, thousands headed to the Zimbabwe border and many thousands, specially in the south, crossed the South African border as refugees - My family and I were amongst the later and eventually got to a safe place in South Africa.
A few days after arriving in South Africa, I got a job working as a telecom engineer, my professional field. I could now at least, afford to rent a place for the family to live in. Life went on very well, I had now a well-paid job, and could afford a few luxuries and a more relaxed and peaceful life. Another few more months and a baby girl Susana, decided to showed up and to increase the family size. Life was now great and worth living!
But besides all this, I had a Dream!
Just like any other person in the world, I had a dream, a huge dream – to open the first Piri-Piri Chicken Restaurant in the world, and then spread this dream to every corner of the planet. It wouldn’t be easy to achieve, but neither was it impossible. I had the will, the courage, the faith and family support to make it come true. Early in 1985, I sold my family home to open the first Piri-Piri chicken restaurant in the world. CHICKENLAND was the chosen name and Kenilworth in the South of Johannesburg, South Africa was the birth place of my dream! After a short while, I was making, bottling and selling a range of 5 different Piri-Piri Sauces and Marinades. The first of its kind in the world.
After a slow start, the business was a stunning success! The name quickly spread across the city and everyone was talking about this new food place that was amazing the food industry.
The business success was proven! The next step was the expansion to other parts of the city, country and abroad. Expansion included a need for capital and people. Money didn't seem to be the problem, there were many people trying to get financially involved, Robert Brozin and Fernado Duarte were amongst those trying to get their hand on the gold nuggets that I had discovered! So in 1987, I sold them some of my business shares. Shortly after they joined, the business name was changed to NANDOS. Chickenland was a nice name, but according to marketing experts at the time, it was felt that the business should be backed by a personal name before the expansion start.
Between MANNYS and NANDOS, I was out-voted two to one, and the latter name was chosen. Despite a few initial problems, the expansion started taking off and now more than ever, the success was tremendous!
After opening many restaurants across the country and abroad, the rug was pulled out from under my feet and I was forced to leave my business. I lost my dream; one of the best things in my life after my family. After this happened, I opened a few other restaurants including Chickenland in Portugal, but these weren’t my dream. It was a way to make a living, but it wasn’t my passion. It took me a long time to recover from what happened, but I was determined and pushed through until another dream emerged; to make the best sauces and speciality food products in the world! MANNYS SAUCES is now my new dream! Once again I can see this new dream taking shape and growing strong all the way to the TOP! The passion is back and I again have the will, the faith, the support of my family, and the suppoat of so many loyal customers that know and appreciate the high quality products that we make. I am forever grateful to my family and my customers for their support and the divine forces for showing me the way.
Our passion and excellence for quality, made us legendary – Our Vision is to help people discover better cooking experiences and make their lives easier and better in the kitchen.
A commitment to the legendary quality, Innovate, Create, Customer first. “We make fine cooking sauces, so that Parents can make healthy and tasty meals for their children, maintaining them healthy and happy, so that they can have awesome Dreams for their lives”
Integrity, Trust, Innovate, help the Planet, produce plant-based sauces and contributing to charities as much as possible.
Build Brand, partnerships, deliver quality and value.
We help Restaurants, Pubs and Takeaways to achieve excellent quality and increase their profits, by helping them with technical support (Free) and supplying them with the best catering sauces on the Planet