It’s 3:15 pm and there are over 20 people waiting outside the pearly gates of Kayani Bakery. In 15 minutes, this iconic bakery will open for its second shift of the day. People wait eagerly as the amazing aroma of butter and freshly baked cookies teases their senses.
Recently reports indicated that the bakery received a verbal order from by the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) to shut down their business for want of a valid trade license since the year 2006.
Vidooshi Singh and Sailee Kerkar are from Thailand and Oman respectively. They are studying in the city and heard about Kayani Bakery from their local friends.
“This is the first time we’re coming to the bakery. We’ve heard so much about it from our friends, especially about the Shrewsbury biscuits. We’re going to take it back home for our parents.”
This iconic bakery was started in 1955 by a Zoroastrian family. Apart from the Shrewsbury biscuits, they are known for their khari biscuits, rusks, Mawa cakes, breads and Madeira cakes. The menu, written on a long black board, hasn’t changed much in the years and remains limited.
Harjit Singh Bal has been visiting the bakery for the last 40 years.
“I am 81 years old now,” says Bal sitting on the steps of the bakery waiting for it open. He swears by the cakes and soup sticks as he pays a visit every once a month.
The thought of Kayani Bakery shutting down is unimaginable for many. Aniruddha Patil, founder of an online food community, Pune Eat Outs, adds that even if the bakery shuts, it will surely be back.
“I cannot comment on the legality but Kayani Bakery is too popular and integral to Pune to be shut forever. It is so closely associated with the city that we have all taken it for granted.”
Even though Swaminathan Iyer resides in UAE, he still gets requests from friends to get Shrewsbury biscuits for them on his yearly visit to Pune.
“Everybody wants Shrewsbury biscuits! It’s not just requests from people who’ve been to Pune but also from those who come from other parts of India who have heard of Kayani Bakery.
When I earlier worked in Mumbai and took weekend trips to Pune, I would come back with six to eight boxes of biscuits for colleagues.”
As the long doors opened dot on time, people rushed in and hurriedly gave their orders. Amid the crowds, people are hustling to get in and out of the bakery. “This is worse than the public distribution system,” said an excited and satisfied customer drenched in sweat.
UPDATE AS ON 13.10.2017 : Kayani Bakery is officially closed until further advise.
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