In the bustling city of Kolkata, when one imagines gorging on delectable pastries and baked goodies, they are often reminded of a sweet haven called Shuktara Cakes. This enchanting bakery goes beyond its delightful treats, for its essence lies in the hearts of the incredible individuals who create magic within its walls.
Founded in 2013 by Alain Cojean, the visionary director of Cojean restaurants in Paris, Shuktara Cakes began as an ambitious project to empower young adults with disabilities. Alain had encountered the heartwarming embrace of Shuktara Trust earlier when he spent unforgettable days with the boys under their care. He was moved by the love and camaraderie these individuals shared, akin to a family that nurtures and uplifts one another.
"I wanted to do something for them and David," Alain said, referring to David Earp, the founder of Shuktara Trust. Alain's concern for the boys' future led him to initiate the French Patisserie Training Centre, a sanctuary where these extraordinary individuals could hone their baking skills and embark on a path of independence and self-sufficiency.
The bakery, nestled within Behala, Kolkata, is a testament to the indomitable spirit of its dedicated team. The young bakers, each with their unique stories, pour their passion into crafting French patisserie products that are both healthy and tantalizing to the taste buds. The treats, fresh from the oven and made with natural ingredients, have earned the affectionate moniker "the angels who bake" among the locals.
The journey at Shuktara Cakes began with seven young men — Bapi, Pinku, Ramesh, Raju, Sanjay, Vijay, and Ashok — receiving expert training from a team led by Fabien Rouillard, former Head Executive Pastry Chef at Fauchon, a Parisian gourmet food company. Alas, the path was not without its challenges, as Ramesh and Vijay chose different routes. But what remained was an unwavering commitment from the remaining five bakers, who found their true calling within the aromatic confines of the bakery. They suffer from complicated disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Usher syndrome and hearing impairment among others but that has never stood in their way. They communicate via ISL (Indian Sign Language) and their bright smiles and ever-cheerful attitude will make you feel right at home. Their spirits are unyielding, and their skills have flourished, all in pursuit of the professional life they truly deserve.
Shuktara Cakes officially marked its inauguration on the 10th of March 2013, with an event that was celebrated with joy and admiration at the French Consulate in Kolkata. Since then, it has been a saga of flavors and determination; the true ingredients of this heartening tale. The ethos of Shuktara Cakes is not merely confined to the pastries that grace its shelves; it's etched in the smiles and dreams of the remarkable individuals who call it home. Their disabilities are but an afterthought, as their brotherhood and sense of belonging shine brighter than the city lights.
Somnath Sardar, the compassionate manager of Shuktara Cakes, stands as an unwavering pillar of support for the team. With the boundless enthusiasm of the bakers and Somnath's guidance, the bakery has flourished into an inspiring project that brings joy to many. The impact of this sweet endeavor is profound, as every delectable creation purchased supports the aspirations of these extraordinary individuals. Each order contributes to the realization of their dreams, providing them with income and the invaluable gift of independence.
Shuktara Cakes, with its French patisserie allure, is much more than a place that satiates our cravings. It represents a world where kindness is the secret ingredient, where empowerment is the icing on the cake, and where dreams rise like the finest soufflés. So, the next time you find yourself in the City of Joy, let your taste buds guide you to Shuktara Cakes, where every treat tells a story of triumph, unity, and the undying pursuit of happiness against all odds.
You can also contact Somnath Sardar at at +91 98743 49175 to place your order.
Follow Shuktara Cakes here.
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