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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

‘New Imperial Bakery and Victory Confectionery Stores’ in Champion Reefs.

This is a picture of the ‘New Imperial Bakery and Victory Confectionery Stores’ in Champion Reefs which is situated just opposite the Company Hospital. This Store in the good old days, was any child’s delight with huge glass bottles filled with different kinds of sweets, biscuits, toffees, stick jaws, buns etc. The Egg Sweets, ‘Wording sweets’, lollipops, Jujips, Almond Sweets, etc were all so delicious and enticing. Since it was just opposite the hospital, no hospital visit was complete without visiting this delightful place. Parents often had to bribe their kids to take their medicines with promises of goodies from the New Imperial Bakery. Besides these exciting  sweets in bottles, the trays of Mutton and Vegetable Puffs, Buns, biscuits, cookies and other savouries was a gourmet's delight.

Our daily bread was also ‘home delivered’ every day at 4 o’clock in the evening. The ‘Bread Man’ brought the freshly baked loaves in a large Wooden Box tied on the carrier of his bicycle. This bread was delivered from this ‘New Imperial Bakery and Victory Confectionery Stores’ for more than 35 years!! The loaves of bread were always still hot from the oven when he brought them. These loaves were sold whole not sliced and just before dinner every night my mum would slice the loaf and leave it on the table for us. Like the mincing machine, each Anglo-Indian family had their own bread board and bread knife to slice the bread.

The payment for the bread that was delivered every day was done on a monthly basis. Every house had their own page in the ‘Bread Man’s’ long  account book, and entries would be made as to the number of loaves of bread and buns bought by them against the date. During the first week of the succeeding month, the representative of the ‘New Imperial Bakery and Stores’ would make the rounds for receiving payment of the bread delivered during the month.

The bakery also made special Hot Cross Buns filled with plums for Good Friday and our Baker would deliver them along with the bread on Maundy Thursday. We’d have to place an order as to the number of buns required about 10 days in advance. Since Good Friday was the day of fasting and abstinence we normally ate these Hot Cross buns for breakfast and dinner with a little butter.

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