Bajpai Kachauri/ Mishthan Bhandar

Nadan Mahal Road, Raqabganj/Temple Road, Balaganj

The Bajpai Family of Barabanki has been running these two establishments since 20-40 years, with the fourth generation currently in place. The brothers Bajpai have a remarkable grasp on the preferences of their clientele. Only pooris are sold at the younger brother’s establishment, while the older brother makes sweets and savouries as well. Raqabganj and the adjoining Pandeyganj is full of shops that trade on a not very large scale. Traders who visit these shops to deliver or procure goods like to spend quality time with the local shopkeepers. This group of people prefer food that is cooked ‘just as it is at home.’ No garlic or onions are used in the food prepared for this clientele, but the Balaganj outlet uses these herbs liberally. Thus, each distinct clientele is served food of their choice. “When I started working in the shop, a kachori used to cost twenty-five paise. The same thing sells for ten rupees these days. We have never had a complaint from our customers. But, there is no accounting for tastes. Suppose a meal is cooked at home and four people sit down to eat. It often happens that some like the meal more and others don’t enjoy it as much. This is no cause for complaint—this is just because everybody’s preference is different. We get 500 customers a day. 99 of every hundred like the food. If one customer doesn’t enjoy it as much as he expected to, we don’t think that it would be called a complaint, would it?”