General Food Additives, a small store in Seshadripuram, can help keep alive your passion for cooking

A few seasons of MasterChef behind you and you may fancy yourself a budding pastry chef, but that special baking mould, or vital alginate or fresh yeast may not be easy to come by. A small store in Seshadripuram can help keep alive your passion for cooking, providing just that variety of raw materials required for desserts, all at reasonable prices.

General Food Additives was established in 1977 by T.R. Kalyan Raman, a food technologist and entrepreneur, who was passionate about merchandising raw materials for baking.

He saw that even though there were bakeries at every street corner, preparing those same delicious items at home was almost a dream. Hence, to reach out to enthusiastic homemakers, students and professionals keen on exploring a new style of cooking, General Food Additives came up with the idea to sell raw materials in small quantities, packed and sealed at the shop.

Rising demand

“Our aim is to build confidence in young amateur chefs, who are looking for the best quality raw materials to cook healthy and hygienic pastries at home,” said T.K. Ramachandra, son of Kalyan Raman, who entered his father’s business some 20 years ago.

He said the demand for these products increased in recent years, when some international schools in the city started regular cookery classes.

Agreeing that television cookery shows and cooking classes have given this good old-fashioned venture a fashionable look, he said many people, even men, are passionate about cooking these days. During Diwali and Christmas, the shop gets the most customers.

Anything required to make ice-cream, chocolate, breads and cakes can be found here.

For elaborate recipes

There are about 700 products in this shop, ranging from bakery fats, margarine, substance to freeze ice cream, preservatives like sodium benzoate, and sprinkles, to all types of decorative tools, baking moulds and cutters.

“Finding baking products is not difficult unless you need them in small quantities,” said M. Maruthi, who works here. So, the shop, which had a wholesale business in providing pastry products to big bakeries and hotels, started selling small amounts of the packed products.

One can get one pack of alginate, a stabiliser for ice-cream, for just Rs. 20 and 50 g of baking powder for Rs. 10.

The shop procures the materials from Bombay, Gujarat, Chennai and Calcutta and has customers from all over the country.

‘All word of mouth’

“In three months, we are planning to get into franchising where we will be coordinating with cookery schools and some malls,” said Ramachandra. “We usually do not advertise. It is all the word of mouth which brings the customers to our shop.”

For details, visit the shop website www.generalfoodadditives.com.

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