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Thousands throng New Market cake shops

Kolkata: With just a few days left for Christmas, people lined up in front of the cake shops in New Market to get their fill of Yuletide treats.

"The sale of Christmas cake starts when winter sets in the City of Joy. We have rush of customers throughout the year. The mela (fair) of Christmas cake usually starts a week before Christmas," said Sk Aman Rahman of Rahman Cake Shop at New Market, known for its Christmas cake.

It might be mentioned that Kolkata, which is famous for its traditional Bengali sweets, is also known for its age-old bakeries which have been running since the British rule.

The popular rich fruit cake comes for Rs 300 (for 400 grams), the light plum cake comes for Rs 250 (for 400 grams) and a slice of the chocolate walnut brownie comes for Rs 40.

"The condition of the bakery industry is not good. Most of the bakeries are running in loss due to the skyrocketing price of bread-making ingredients and GST. However, for the interest of the public, we have decided not to increase the price of bread. At the same time, we ensure that there is no crisis of bread in the market during Christmas," said Idris Ali, secretary of Joint Action Committee of West Bengal Bakers Associations.

More than 10 lakh people are associated with the business with 4,000 bakeries across the state, producing tonnes of cakes during the Christmas season.

"The cakes produced are not just for the rich but also the poor. So, we must take

care of the prices and weight of the cakes we sell," Ali pointed out.

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