Last week, I was in Pune for my cousin’s marriage. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had with me in Pune. Yes, Geetika’s wedding surely was amongst the best I have had the opportunity to attend. But my visit to Pune is incomplete until I make a stop at Kayani Bakery. This time also, I went there to pack a whole lot of biscuits for my friends back in Hyderabad.
Situated inside the lush green Pune Camp area is Kayani Bakery. The place reminds you of the colonial architecture. An institution in its own right, this place is renowned for its best sellers ‘Shrewsbury Biscuits’ and ‘Mawa Cake’. They also have other specialities, Ginger biscuits, Chocolate biscuits, Khari, Rusk, Khatai, Sponge Cake, freshly baked white bread and so on. The place is open from 7:30 AM in the morning till 1 PM in the afternoon and again, from 3:30 PM till 8 PM in the evening. It’s a cramped place, enough space available for only ten people to stand at the counter. The first leg of struggle commences, to get to the counter. Once you enter from the door, an intoxicating smell of freshly baked biscuits and cakes hits your nose. You are transported to a completely different realm altogether. After the struggle, you somehow arrive at the counter and the person at the other end expects your order instantly! He is extremely busy and he has lots of customers to take care of. Inside the bakery, you can see signs of Parsi culture. The place is cramped yet, you see some extremely efficient customer service out there. Once you are done with your order, the second leg of struggle commences, coming out of the bakery.
The one thing which I love about Kayani Bakery is that they have no other branches across Pune. It comes out as a great business idea. From any corner of the city, you must come down to Camp area to enjoy the delicacies. It also compels the outsiders, like me, to make a trip to the Camp area to pack the stuff they prepare. Had they been all across the city, it would have been monotonous. Also, their bestselling item on the menu, Shrewsbury, sells literally like hot cakes. So don’t be surprised when the person at the counter tells you that the fresh batch of biscuits is over! The eatables at the bakery are freshly prepared and are also reasonably cheap. Recent damage for purchasing one kilo of Shrewsbury biscuits is Rs 320 only. And this happens to be the most expensive item on the menu!
A visit to this legendary bakery sums up my journey to Pune, whenever I visit. I have my relatives from my mother’s side staying there, so minimum one visit every year is guaranteed. Whatever be the reason, I make it a point in my itinerary to visit this place every time. And never have I been disappointed, I confess. I hope that such legendary places continue to retain their uniqueness. In the contemporary world, this is the only thing which sets them apart from the rest.