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Bhavnagari Foods Pvt Ltd

Street Address: 19, Nancy Towers, Opp Kedari Petrol Pump Wanowrie

City: Pune

Province/State: Maharashtra

Country: India

Additional Information

Business Details: Bhavnagari Brand Products in Premium Sweets, Namkin Dryfruits and Mukhwas and Savouries.

Business Type: Manufacturing Sector

Keywords: Dryfruits, Sweets, Namkin, Snacks

Office Location: Maharashtra

Bhavnagari Dry Fruit Stores (Wanowari)

In the year 1901, a chance day trip to Pune changed the life of Virjibhai Karsandas Parekh forever. In the business of making and selling chivda and other salted snacks in Mumbai, he was smitten by Pune city.  While his group of five friends returned to Mumbai at the end of the day, he stayed on at the shelter offered by the Jain temple in Pune’s Cantonment area. Little did he know then that the seed of a business idea, in the form of the Bhavnagari `mithai’ shop that he would set up, right next to the temple in the same year, would last for more than a century, with the name changing from Bhavnagari Fancy Sweet Emporium to Bhavnagari Dry Fruit Stores somewhere along the journey. Over time, as family numbers increased, different members branched out to begin similar businesses of their own, leveraging the wealth of in-house experience, knowledge and capability at their command. What has remained constant in all these thriving ventures, however, is the ‘Bhavnagari’ prefix to all their names - a continuing reminder of the extended family’s original home near Bhavnagar, in the Kathiawar region of Gujarat, western India.

As the Late Jayantibhai Parekh, Virjibhai’s son and once the patriarch of the clan, used to reminisce, “A Gujarati grocer saw this genteel young man at the temple and enquired about him. Recognising the entrepreneurial drive in the young Virji, he encouraged him by providing the ingredients to make chivda, bhajiya and channa-mamra. My father, Virjibhai, would make the items and walk around the market selling them off a tray. Soon he rented a shop of his own and the capital to set up the shop, a princely Rs. 20 in those days, came as a loan from the generous Gujarati grocer.”

As Virji’s family ranks grew to include nine children, his stores seemed to match the pace of expansion with more outlets opening up. In 1970, Jayantibhai, with the assistance of his son, the Late Maheshbhai Parekh, set up the Bhavnagari Dry Fruit Store on MG Road, the premier shopping district in the heart of the cantonment. “Our daily turnover was a few hundred Rupees which grew exponentially over a period of time. This was the first dry fruit store in Pune where we offered dry fruits other than just raisins, almonds and cashews. I would go all the way to Jammu and Srinagar to source the best quality of saffron and walnuts, and to ensure we got the freshest stocks,” used to say Jayantibhai proudly.

Renowned for the intrinsic quality of their offerings right from the very start, not only have the Bhavnagari outlets been the natural choice for Pune’s discerning gourmands, but have also attracted the who’s who of Mumbai society for more than a century. Prior to independence it was the favourite of the local royalty and visiting British populace, who later gave way to famous politicians, Bollywood celebrities and leading industrialists. Today, it is still a common sight to see them stop by, to personally select their favourites from among the delicacies arrayed on the shelves.

Today the same tradition of quality and customer focussed business practices are followed at the store in Wanowari in Pune, set up in 2015. This outlet is managed by Jayantibhai’s grandson Anant Parekh, representing the 4th generation of the family in the business, and his uncle Rajesh Parekh, who brings over 40 years of experience to the table. On offer here is the same mouth watering range of sweets, savouries and dry fruits that Bhavnagari is renowned for, plus many new modern delicacies to cater to the new generation of customers. While the manufacturing process has undergone a sea change, product packaging too, now leverages the latest technology to ensure better preservation and aesthetics. 

“Our goal is to provide our customers the best possible experiences, by creating products of outstanding quality, value and heritage.” says Anant. The seed of an idea in the mind of Virjibhai Karsandas Parekh more than a century ago, is now a sturdy, unshakeable banyan tree, whose branches are spreading ever outwards.