A brand built around the humble rose milk

A newspaper mark on East Mada Street has been staying in the news for the drink it offers

October 31, 2015 03:52 pm | Updated 03:52 pm IST - Chennai:

‘Kalathi Newspaper Mart’ which sells rose milk. Photo: R. Ragu

‘Kalathi Newspaper Mart’ which sells rose milk. Photo: R. Ragu

On the busy East Mada Street, a small store called ‘Kalathi Newspaper Mart’ has a long queue of customers waiting in front of it every day. It is not the thirst of information that has people queuing up there. It is for the frothing rose-milk it has to offer.

The Mart, run by Mani, a retired bank manager, and his cousin Kumar, has been around for several decades.

Established by Mani’s maternal uncle Kalathi Mudaliar, way back in 1927, the shop is believed to have been once frequented by celebrities such as Shivaji Ganesan, Crazy Mohan and actor Visu for its trademark rose-milk.

“The three used to visit the shop after their show at R.R. Sabha. Also, advocate general N.R. Chandran used to sip the drink after the court proceedings,” says Mani. The rose milk is a big hit during summer.

Mani says: “The drink became a real hit among customers and they would give us tips on improving it. Gradually, we introduced three more flavours such as chocolate, pista and badam.” And it has become a regular feature. Though years have gone by, the recipe remains the same. “We add no preservatives in the drink,” adds Mani. “We started selling the drink at just 25 paise and it is now sold at Rs.15. Every day, we sell at least 300 glasses of rose-milk,” says Pushparaj, who has been working at the shop for 42 years. “It is the originality and taste that sets this shop apart,” says Raj, a designer and regular customer for past 28 years. Kalathi Newspaper Mart is located at No.27, East Mada Street, Mylapore. For details, contact Pushparaj at 9840919797.

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