Baking a cake is not a simple affair. When I first learned the art of baking, I was introduced to a world of ingredients that I have never heard of. I am not professional but I have been baking cakes for the birthdays of my family members. It all started when I planned to give a pleasant surprise to my wife on her birthday and soon it became a hobby. Now I have to bake at least a dozens of cakes, apart from the Christmas ones, a year. The children make my job more challenging coming with unusual requests.
The moment I started baking my own cakes, I started to gather my own equipment and utensils – as you know cake baking and decorating requires so many different items that are not available in our kitchen. I searched a lot over the internet and was surprised to see that there is not enough availability. Even the ones available are extremely high priced. Like every time I face a shopping problem, I visited the heart of Kolkata’s shopping district – New Market. I take a simple method every time I try to find a shop there. I casually ask any shopkeeper about the items I require. After a few inquiries, I always reach the right place. In this case, I was totally astonished. The first person I asked directed me towards the meat market area. I cross-checked a few more times and everybody was pointing to the same place and there was only one name – APNA DUKAN. Finally, I reached the Narrow lane adjoining the meat market. The stinking air of the chicken was somewhat subdued by the flavour of the chocolate.
The shop is easily recognizable but extremely difficult to enter – don’t be afraid, it’s the long queue of customers that makes it difficult to enter the small shop. I was totally taken aback by the collection of items in the small 5sqmt shop.
You can’t imagine their stock of items. Right from baking pans, trays, base, moulds, rotators, packing box everything was there and most importantly all an extremely cheap price. It was a birthday cake I was planning to bake cream was essential. Whipped cream is not easily available in the market but Apna Dukan has a stock of every type of whipped cream available. I was not sure which one was the best. The friendly shopkeeper himself suggested me. Edible colours, sprinklers, nozzles, cone everything was extremely cheap there. I went with a list of 10 items and ended up buying thrice as much. Still, I was below my estimated budget. Apna Dukan, at that very moment, got a loyal customer.
You can get the cream that is priced Rs.200 at only Rs.130. Similarly, I was planning a chocolate cake with the Cadbury dark cocoa powder available in local shops but as suggested by them went to buy a loose cocoa powder from them at half the price. I later experimented with the Cadbury but the colour and flavour of it do not match with the loose one. It is true for every other item you need. Now I have every equipment a bakery should have and all credit goes to Apna Dukan. Soon I learned bread making, pizza making and to my surprise, I didn’t have to visit any other shop for anything. Apna Dukan surely is the heaven for every cook in the city. Herbs, sauces, toppings everything is there and as their tagline, ‘Shasta bhi achcha bhi’, suggests at a very reasonable price.
The only thing that bothered me a bit was the crowd in their shop. It takes a lot of time to hand over the list of items and get them properly but that, in other words, is the charm of shopping. My personal suggestion is to visit the shop with some time in hand because the shop is too small to handle such a large customer base and generally it takes some time to get all you need. But you will be served with smiles and you will leave happily – that I can assure you.
It remains open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 am till 9:00 pm. You can also send them an order over WhatsApp and get your order packed but you have to be very precise with the brands and quantity of each item.
Address: Shop no NB 44A, New market Gate no. 13, New Market, Kolkata – 700087
Whatsapp No. 9831139779