Loreto House Alumnae Association

Loreto old girls' inspiring tales: Culinary journeys that started from garage  

Jhinuk Mazumdar
Jhinuk Mazumdar
Posted on 21 Nov 2023
07:47 AM
(Clockwise from top left) Lovey Kapur, Rakhi Purnima Das Gupta and Oindrilla Dutt at the online event on Saturday 

(Clockwise from top left) Lovey Kapur, Rakhi Purnima Das Gupta and Oindrilla Dutt at the online event on Saturday  The Telegraph

The programme, “Food Fantasies”, was organised by Loreto House Alumnae Association

In the first few hours of opening the doors, a confectionery had sold off the cookies they had thought would last them a week.

The owner, Lovey Kapur, instead of welcoming guests, ran to the production unit to make much more because they had nothing to sell the next day.

That was in 1985, when Kookie Jar started from a shop on Rawdon Street, half the size of the current store.


Kapur, an alumna of Loreto House, shared the journey of the confectionery at an online event on Saturday.

Rakhi Purnima Das Gupta, owner of the Bengali restaurant, Kewpie’s was also at the event.

The programme, “Food Fantasies”, was organised by Loreto House Alumnae Association. Oindrilla Dutt moderated the event, talking to the two former Loreto House girls.

“We decided to open this little shop on Rawdon Street which was half the size of the existing one now... with a small amount of money and a lot of help from family and friends, we started this. I remember the first day we thought that we would be making enough things to last us a week, at least the cookies. Within the first few hours, everything was sold out.... My sister Puja, her friends, everyone was behind the counters trying to cope with the pressure. I, instead of welcoming people there at the shop, ran to the production unit to start making much more stuff because we had nothing to sell the next day... that was how it started, very encouraging... that was the small Kookie Jar we started in ‘85,” said Lovey.

Kapur and Das Gupta both started from a garage, Das Gupta with four tables and Kapur with an oven bigger than the one she was using for taking orders from the house.

Das Gupta recalled how she was introduced to cooking when she was studying in England.

Before that she was never allowed in the kitchen, she said.

“...my parents were there and my mother would say that we should cook, people are coming over. It was like a Bengali household in London. People would come over. That’s when I started learning how to cook,” said Das Gupta.

She went on to say how “every para now has a Bengali restaurant”, which has impacted her business.

“Lot of people would come from Salt Lake and Behala, Diamond Harbour to come and eat at Kewpie’s. I am having that during the Puja, but I am not having that every day. It is the traffic and so many things... and there is a plethora of Bengali restaurants. The calibre I won’t say is very good. Some are good and some are really awful but they are there... a lot of people today are not really concerned about the traditional Bangla (food),” she said.

Dutt talked about how the Covid pandemic saw a downturn and it was “devastating for the food and hospitality business”.

She asked her guests whether business seems to be better.

Kapur said they did not have such a hard time because the bakery was on and they were allowed to deliver, but it was “hard.”

“It is getting back on track. I am not saying that it is booming, like everyone else is saying, because a lot of home chefs have come up during Covid... there are a lot of people not so discerning.... But I think it is going to get back,” said

Last updated on 21 Nov 2023
07:48 AM
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