To the point: If you haven’t heard yet, Kayani Bakery along with Kwality and Bagban Restaurant have been asked to shut operations until further notice by Pune Cantonment Board.
According to a report on TOI, the aforementioned restaurants have been running operations for the past 11 years (since 2006) without the requisite trade license. These eateries were asked to shut shop for violating the lease agreement with Pune Cantonment Board.
A source, who runs a business in the same area says, ‘It’s a legal issue. One cannot comment on whether they’ll open anytime soon without understanding the gravity of the situation. Kayani opening up for business purely depends on the Pune Cantonment Board’s discretion. It unfortunate that they are targeted because there are plenty of organisations in the area that don’t have the requisite permissions but aren’t as popular as Kayani.’
Legalities aside, plenty of patrons can’t imagine Pune without their beloved Kayani Bakery. For instance Havovi Writer, a 70-year-old who frequented Kayani since her childhood. She remembers, ‘I have been going there since I was a kid. I remember buying those big sponge cakes for as less as Rs 10. Their quality has remained consistent over the years, be it the biscuits, cakes or bread. In fact, after I got married and moved to Mumbai, it was a ritual for me to visit Kayani every time I was in the city. I’d stock up enough to last me until the next visit (laughs). I recently moved back to Pune, and it is disheartening to witness a favourite of mine shutting shop.’
Some are outraged by this move. Like Auzi Irani, who says, ‘Having known the family for over 30 years, I know them to be honest, humble and “salt of the earth” people, who by the way of their establishment have put Pune on the global food map since years. An order to close the doors is not only hurting the livelihood of the employees but is also a big blow to those indigenous businesses who are yet to succumb to large brands.’
It’s not just old-time Puneites, but people who are relatively new to Pune can’t fathom the city without their regular dose of iconic biscuits and baked goods. Ganesh Kerkar, who moved from Goa to Pune seven years ago, says, ‘The first time I went back home (Goa) from Pune, I took boxes of Shrewsbury as a souvenir from Pune. My family loved these buttery biscuits and in fact, it’s expected of me to carry a few boxes everytime I go to Goa. I am upset that an institution like this has been asked to shut down and that too without any proper notice. I am really hoping they sort out the issues soon.’
In fact, peeps from Mumbai who regularly visit the city are stunned by this development as well. Dipshika Ravi, who frequents Pune chides, ‘I can’t imagine a trip to Pune without visiting Kayani and coming back with loads of Shrewsbury biscuits and Mawa cakes.’