Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Eat that! None of city’s 400 Iyengar bakeries are real


Eat that! None of city’s 400 lyengar bakeries are real

Original owners from Bengaluru are applying for a patent to safeguard their brand and signature dishes
VINOD KUMAR MENON vinodm@mid-day.com

NONE of the city’s Bangalore Iyengar bakeries are original and all are in trouble now, with the real owners from Bengaluru deciding to patent the term lyengar Bakery’ in order to curb rampant misuse of their trade name.

While the original store is run by a third generation Iyengar family in Bangalore, the 400 stores in Mumbai are run by Lingayats, Vokkaligas, and Gowdas, besides a few by non-Kannadigas. Sridhar Iyengar (62), the man who founded the first and only Bangalore Iyengar Bakery has a Trade-mark license for the same but is now applying for a patent.

The last three to four years have seen a spurt in the number of these stores, with the number reaching 400 in Mumbai and Thane, and another 30 in Navi Mumbai. The Iyengars estimate that there could be more than 1,500 in all across the country.

Once they acquire the patent, Sridhar’s son Raman wants to ensure that the name is no longer misused and those willing to continue with the name come under a franchise net-work. “I was fortunate to work with HS Thirumalachar for a decade (from 1970 to 1980) when I joined his VB Bakery, which was started in 1950,” Sridhar told mid-day from Bangalore. “Thriumalachar learnt the art of mak-ing bread from an Englishman. Later he started VB Bakery and Surya bakery, both exist even today. In 1980, I moved out of VB and started my own bakery. I named it lyengar Bakery’ and traditionally sold rusk, bread and butter biscuit.”

Several Iyengar bakers learnt the art of making bread from Thiru-malachar and started their own bakeries, spreading into the four southern states. But most are now shut as the second generation is not too keen on the bakery business.

Asked how they learnt about the misuse of their title in Mumbai and other parts of the country, Raman said, “A couple of years ago, some tourists and migrants from Mumbai and Maharashtra had visited our out-let, and asked for rawa cake and kara roll (both items never made in any Iyengar outlet in Bangalore). When we asked them where they had seen these items, they said Mumbai. Later, we found there were many outlets using our title without permission. Hence we decided to get the patent,” said Raman, adding, “I am in touch with my lawyers to ensure we get a proper franchise policy worked out and if needed, will not hesitate to issue notices to those violating our rights. The public can’t be misguided.”

A staffer holds up a cake at Harish Shetty’s Bangalore lyengar Bakery located at Seawoods in Nerul. Shetty says that the bakery makes about 35 per cent profit from the sale of cake varieties. PICS/DATTA KUMBHAR Sridhar lyengar launched the Bengaluru original in 1981. PIC/SATEJ SHINDE

Welcome move
When mid-day told Harish Shetty, who started the first Bangalore Iyengar Bakery in Mumbai, about Raman and Sridhar’s decision, he tried to gloss over the issue, saying he welcomed the move.

“It will be good if they start the ini-tiative and help us get organised,” said Shetty. “The major problem is hygiene and quality. Even I face the problem of people mistaking other outlets in Mumbai for my branches.” One reason for the mushrooming of outlets is the profit margin and market space. Iyengar Bakery is such a strong brand name, and with an investment of just a few lakhs, the local market can be captured.

Harish Shetty started the first Bangalore lyengar Bakery in Mumbai.

While items like rusk, bread and butter biscuit may yield a profit of 5 to 7 per cent, the varieties of cakes fetch as much as 35 per cent profit. “With a name like Iyengar Bakery, people tend to believe it is a pure vegetarian bakery, but the truth is that we even take bulk order for mak-ing plum cakes with eggs during Christmas. Egg puffs are made on order,” said Shetty.

Chandrashekar Oli. Gowda, founding secretary of Iyengar Bakers Association in Maharashtra, who runs two Iyengar bakeries in Thane, said, “We have called for a meeting of our association members next month, where we will discuss how to join hands with the original owners if the association members do not have any objection.”

No ambiguity, says FDA
The FDA, however, said there was no scope for ambiguity. CD Salunke, Joint Commissioner (Food), Maharashtra said if a registered trademark is being misused, then the owner can take legal action. “These are like any other bakery outlets and if they are found to be violating any license including FSSAI norms, then appropriate action can be taken.”

Mumbai’s first lyengar
The first taste of a Dil Pasand from the Bangalore lyengar Bakery in early 2000 spurred the idea for a business for the young 33-year-old Harish Shetty. In 2005, he started the first outlet in Mumbai, without any thought that he was copying a famous trademarked brand name. Today Shetty and his family run eight outlets of ‘Bangalore lyengar bakery’ in Navi Mumbai and one in Parel. The Dil Pasand was so good that Shetty quit his R8,000 a month job which did not help him take care of his family. After much cajoling, the Bangalore owner gave him a job, where apart from routine bakery work, Shetty learnt the art of baking bread and cakes. “Mumbai and its suburbs never had an lyengar Bakery,” said Shetty. “So we decided to set up a bakery of our own, but had no money with us. We took loans from suppliers and on the promise of paying back in instalments, opened the first ‘Bangalore lyengar Bakery’ in June 2005.”

Rava cake V/s Dil Pasand
Dil Pasand, a pastry with coconut and tutti fruitti is a hit item at the original Bengaluru bakery
Shetty’s Mumbai outlet, like others in the city, makes the hit rava cake. PIC/DATTA KUMBHAR

Explaining the vast difference in the menu between the real Bangalore bakeries and the Mumbai outlets, Shetty said it all came down to a fondness of rice in the south. “Kara roll and rava cake are fast moving items here, as it has a good demand, but there will be no takers for it in Bangalore,” he said.

Deluge made them a hit
Shetty recalled that on the morning of 26/7 when they woke up, they found Old Panvel submerged. “Luckily, as our shop was on an elevation, we kept it open, and people thronged for bread. Soon, we grew, cleared all our debts and decided to expand our business. Therefore, we decided to go for Trademark licensing:’ When he visited the trademark office in Dadar in 2007, a survey report showed that ‘Bangalore Iyengar Bakery’ was already registered in Mahrashtra by someone from Solapur. I did not purse the registration process thereafter.”

Source :Mid Day

Recommended for you