The customer base has grown from 30 to a three-digit figure, says Mr. Cutinha

If you want sumptuous yet simple and homely food – vegetarian or non-vegetarian – reasonably priced you could head for Mary Bai’s in Valencia.

But do not expect a big signboard to attract you to this place and on the first occasion you may have to ask a few people to find your way. It is located in Mangalanagar in Valencia. A road opposite to Fathima Retreat House will lead you to this. You could confuse it for a house for it is in a tiled building.

Mary Bai’s has regular patrons, and here is why: “The food served here is tasty and clean,” said businessman Naveen D. Puala. Walter Menezes (59) of Urwa said, “I started coming here since the late 90s. It’s a home-food away from home. I also make sure to take some parcel back home.

Lawrence D’Souza, Joint Managing Director of a private firm, is another patron who travels long distance to have food here. “Every Saturday, I come from Baikampady along with my colleagues. Usually, in the week days, I take snacks – home-made food — to the office, but once in a week we come to have some special dishes here.”

Auto driver Girish Jadhav of Jalligudda says: “I don’t buy any special dishes, I just have normal meal. They don’t mix any additives (like baking powder).” Joel D’Mello of Neermarga, working with a mutual fund house, said he used to bring friends during college days.

Many customers like Simran, a college student, admire a quality of Metilda Cutinha, who cooks and serves at Mary Bai’s. “She (Ms. Cutinha) knows what to serve the moment we come in. That makes me feel at home. They serve fast. They talk to us nicely,” says Simran. For Brijesh Carodi, it is the quality and variety of food that take him to Mary Bai’s. Kiran Shetty loves pork served here.

1984

It was in 1984 that the Mary Cutinha decided to serve food to people in her tiled roof house and add to the family income. But soon her clientele increased forcing the family to a more spacious place. And then there was no looking back. After the death of Ms. Cutinha, her son Maxim Cutinha is running the show but the place continues to be called, Mary Bai’s.

The customer base has grown from 30 to a three-digit figure, says Mr. Cutinha. “My wife Hilda Cutinha and sister-in-law Metilda Cutinha help in cooking and serving with help of another employee.

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