In our previous article on the bakery scene in the city, we highlighted the magic of home-based bakers in Pune. Aren’t they a daunting competition? Definitely a force to be reckoned with! However, from the traditional cakes and cupcakes to croissants, puffs, cookies and tarts—Pune has witnessed a surge in the business of small-scale bakeries, exploring the world of butter, sugar, eggs and flour over a few years. These bakeries are proving to be a serious threat for all the big names of the baking industry! What exactly distinguishes them from the established names? Is there something about these small bakeries which the renowned bakery brands ought to know of? To understand the surprisingly booming success of these quaint little bakeries, we decided to ask them their key mantras for their master stroke. We give you the story of two small-scale bakeries of the city that are running a thriving business from their heart and find out what makes them draw in crowds for their diverse menus.
The Patio, Cakes bakes and more…
The Patio opened for business on the 21st of October 2007. Jai Patel, the owner of the store gave up his book business to open this quaint little bakery amidst the bustling locales on Aundh.
What got you to start Patio?
“The idea behind starting The Patio was not just to be another café or a cake and pastry shop – it had to be something more than that – it had to be a lifestyle! And, in line with that thought, The Patio provides its customers with a truly exciting world of cakes and desserts.
What is the USP of The Patio?
We are a community store – This is a place for friends and family to get together and have a great time. It has a home feel to it. Customisation and a personalised touch is the USP of Patio. For instance, our cake flavours and designs never cease to delight customers. Unlike most bakeries, which offer typical flavours made from premixes, we offer stuff customised to the tee.
Which is your favourite time or memory of being in Patio?
Festivity times at The Patio are events to look forward to! Christmas time is always special at The Patio. We love decorating the store and baking the special Christmas goodies – Plum cakes, traditional steamed puddings with brandy sauce, frosted muffins, ginger bread houses… the list is endless!”
How difficult has it been running the Patio?
Being an independent bakery involves a lot of hard work. There are many ongoing challenges that come depending on the situations. Man management and training of the staff were some of the challenges we faced in the beginning.
Our city has witnessed a surge of small scale bakeries in two years alone. So how would you sustaining amidst competition?
When it comes to competition, it involves one to be unique. There is always scope for more and doing better. We at Patio also have evolved around the years and completely changed our format. What initially started off as a book store on the mezzanine level and an “art café” at the ground level has today evolved where you get a bouquet of products like whole wheat breads, coffees, cakes, desserts, international foods and delectable vegetarian and non-vegetarian sandwiches. We even have a guest appearance section where we display different products of home based bakers.
How do you think Pune is dealing with the international standards of bakeries in the city, given that we already have well established names like Kayani Bakery, New Poona Bakery?
I think we are doing very well. In the last 8 years, especially in Aundh, I have seen a variety in products being offered to customers. I have never had to explain to my customers about any new product we offer to them. There have actually been times when customers come and tell me about the products that they tried abroad and ask me to incorporate them in our menu!
Shop Number 3, Chaitraban Residency,
Opposite Golds Gym, Laxmi Road, Aundh, Pune
020 4005 8685
Sugardough Bakery Cafe
Sugardough is Praveen Rao’s bakery venture in Pune which he started in 2007. Pursuing his education in the field of baking, Praveen Rao opened Sugardough to give Punekars a bakery serving traditional bakery goodies with original and fantastic flavours.
What gives Sugardough the extra edge over any other bakery in the city?
“With Sugardough, we have the world class experience. For our customers we bring our very original products. Our breads and desserts are hit with the customers. From cakes and cupcakes to all sorts of breads we are rolling out all we can to suit the taste buds of our customers. Also for those who are extremely health conscious we have a lot of healthy options for them to choose from.
What kind of barriers have you faced as an independent bakery?
The challenges for an independent bakery begins right from finding a good location, getting staff, training them and also dealing with government officials.
Recently a lot of bakeries are experimenting with theme based fondant cakes because of a huge demand from various customers. What is your take on it?
They may look perfect for theme parties. You can do anything with fondant. But if you’re talking only in terms of enjoying a good piece of cake, fondant cakes don’t make the cut.
With Pune witnessing a surge in the small scale bakery business over the last two years alone, how do you think you can sustain amidst the competition?
We cater to a growing demand for oven-fresh bakery products. We believe that enticing customers with fresh and quality products would be a great addition to the culinary community in Pune. At Sugardough, we have stuck to traditional bakery products and give our customers exactly what they need.
Sugardough Bakery Cafe,
Lane Number 5, Marutirao Gaikwad Nagar, Aundh