• Dr. Mohan Dewan assisted by Adv. Shubham Borkar

Brands are more than just a name or a logo; they embody a story and a legacy that have been built over time. Behind every brand, there is a rich history and a unique set of circumstances that have shaped its identity and contributed to its success. These background stories have become an integral part of the brand, and they serve as an essential tool for building brand loyalty and connecting with customers. There are various brands that you think you know about, but do you really know them? In this series of articles we will be telling you unknown stories behind the known brands.

Kayani Bakery in Pune, India, is not just any bakery; it is an institution with a rich and illustrious history that has earned a place as one of the ‘world's legendary dessert places’. Recently, it achieved the remarkable feat of securing the 18th position in the prestigious list of the “World's 150 Legendary Dessert Destinations” by Taste Atlas. Let's embark on a journey to explore the remarkable history, the delectable offerings, and the global recognition of Kayani Bakery.

A Sweet Slice of History

Established in 1955, by three brothers Khodayar, Hormazdiar and Rustom Kayani; Kayani Bakery quickly became an integral part of Pune's culinary landscape. Named after their family name, Kayani Bakery’s story began in a small shop situated on the East Street, Camp, with selling freshly baked bread, puffs and pastries. The Kayani brothers, who originally hailed from Iran, brought with them a culinary heritage that blended beautifully with local Indian flavors. This unique fusion of Persian and Indian baking traditions set the stage for Kayani's remarkable journey.

The Legendary Mawa Cake
If there's one item that has truly put Kayani Bakery on the global map, it's their iconic ‘Mawa Cake’. This delectable dessert is a perfect harmony of cardamom-scented flour and rich and sweet mawa (concentrated milk). The Mawa Cake, with its divine aroma and melt-in-the-mouth texture, has garnered a cult following which is not only limited to Pune but even across the entire nation. The recipe of this legendary cake has been a closely guarded secret of the Kayani family, passed down through generations, making it a Kayani Bakery ‘exclusive’ delight. Hence, it is not a surprise that the Bakery has secured the 18th spot on the list for its beloved Mawa cake.

Beyond the Mawa Cake
While the iconic Mawa Cake might seem to steal the limelight, Kayani Bakery offers a wide array of equally delicious treats. From Shrewsbury biscuits to fruitcakes and gingerbread, their products are a definition of the art of baking in every sense. The Shrewsbury biscuits which have a unique, crumbly texture and just the right balance of sweetness and have become a staple in Pune households, enjoyed during tea time or given as gifts during special occasions. The Shrewsbury biscuits were introduced by Rustom Kayani, on the menu of the bakery. Their epitome of popularity is such that, they have also been once bought by the armed guards and taken further to Delhi.

The secret to their enduring success lies in their unwavering commitment to maintaining the original recipes and adhering to time-honoured baking techniques. The result is an authentic taste that has remained unchanged for decades.

A Sweet Spot
It wouldn’t be wrong to say certain places are destined to be legendary; Kayani Bakery is an example. I am saying so, because the place where Kayani bakery stands today along with Kwality another famous restaurant of Pune, was originally an elegant Italian bakery and restaurant called E Muratore. It was owned by E Muratore, who was an Italian confectioner and caterer. Muratore's cuisine and generosity have been praised in several stories published in a variety of periodicals and newspapers throughout the years.

When the Second World War began in 1939, the British had detained the Germans and Italians who were resident in India. Muratore was detained at Fort Purandar. The British auctioned his eatery to Ghulam Hussain Pakseema sometime around 1942. Pakseema was the owner of a few eateries including Café Chevalier, an Italian eatery, which he renamed Pioneer Coffee House. Up until 1947, he successfully controlled E Muratore before migrating to Pakistan. Once more, Muratore was left without an owner. Thereafter, it was owned by Ganpatrao Sathe, of Sathe Biscuits and Chocolate Works Ltd. fame who ran the place for the next few years till 1954. In the following year, Kayani brothers started their bakery operations in the building occupied by Muratore, in fact they inherited the baking equipment, firewood ovens which were once used by Muratore to start with. As an ode to the original owner, the Kayani Bakery still has the letters “EM” engraved on its façade that represents E Muratore. The marble floor which once used to serve as the dance floor in Muratore’s restaurant as well as the ornate ceiling with embossed metal has been kept exactly as it used to be, back in the old times.

A Trip down the Nostalgic Lane
Kayani Bakery is not just a place to savour exceptional baked goods; but also a cultural icon. The bakery's vintage charm and classic interiors transports visitors to a bygone era. The friendly, apron-clad staffs add a personal touch, creating an experience that goes beyond the food. Several visitors, comprising of locals and tourists, have described their visits to Kayani Bakery as a nostalgic journey into the past.

Kayani Bakery, Pune stands as a reminder that some traditions are too delicious to fade away and that certain places are destined to be legendary. Whether you are a local resident of Pune or a curious traveller, Kayani Bakery is an essential stop on your culinary journey.

My personal favourite delicacies of Kayani Bakery are Mawa cake, Shrewsbury biscuits, and Khari. I remember that, in my childhood, all the guests that visited us were served with these delicacies. In fact, boxes of Kayani bakery products were also presented by my parents to the guests as a token of gratitude and remembrance and this is one of the traditions which I have carried forward till the present date. Whenever someone visits me, or I visit someone, the practice of presenting products of Kayani Bakery has been constant.


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