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Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Tale of Two Dairies

How the milkshake brand Keventers began, lost their land and now return to claim a new space in the city

Written by Shantanu David | New Delhi | Updated: March 29, 2015 12:00:29 am
keventers connaught place, Edward Keventers dairy

Delhi’s food (read social) media has been all a-twitter of late. The reason for this is the opening of Keventers, the capital’s treasured milkshake mainstay, at Saket’s Select CityWalk in a hip new format with an exhaustive range of products. Meanwhile, the Keventers in Connaught Place has had its sign painted over and is changing its name. Apparently it wasn’t actually the original Keventers of yore. Never able to resist a good mystery, we explore and get you the news straight from the horse’s, er, cow’s mouth.

It was in 1925 that Edward Keventers started his eponymous dairy company, establishing farms in Aligarh, Delhi, Calcutta and Darjeeling. Ram Krishna Dalmia acquired the Delhi plant, which was then located on Sardar Patel Marg, in the 1940s, eventually setting up 48 distribution outlets across the Capital, including the iconic one in Connaught Place. “There was a wide range of dairy products, with everything from shakes to condensed milk. In the ‘70s the government re-acquisitioned land in Chanakyapuri for the diplomatic enclaves, leading to the shut-down of the farm. That, among other reasons, led to the dissolution of the brand,” says Agastaya Mihir Dalmia, Ram Krishna’s grandson. Meanwhile, the Connaught Place franchisee had retained the Keventers name, and served shakes, ice creams and more to generations of the city’s eaterati.

Now, Dalmia, with partners Aman Arora and Sohrab Sitaram, is now looking to resurrect Keventers in a new avatar and has set up the “new old” Keventers in Saket. They asked the franchisee to change its name, which they did, to Shake Square earlier this month. Owner Surender Pahuja says, “Yes, we were asked to change the name because of trademark issues and so we complied. But we promise our patrons the same standard of quality and products they’ve come to love over the years”.

Dalmia and his partners have signed on for four stores, including Saket and have set up a production unit in Delhi. “While we will be retaining some of the old favourites of chocolate and kesar pista, we’re coming out with Caramello and Mint Oreo Cumble flavours as well as other products such as gelati, keeping in mind contemporary tastes,” says Arora. Cheers to that. Or rather, slurp slurp.

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