Our Student Success Stories: Ritika Agarwal, the Mind behind Kolkata’s 1920 Bakery

The bread really was the hero of quarantine kitchens; be it the sourdough starters or focaccia kits, breads did ‘rise’ to every occasion. The newly opened 1920 Bakery is actually a step ahead of your neighbourhood bakeries in terms of curation. “No one in the city was making a chocolate babka, for instance. Fresh hand-made options were just not there; we wanted to elevate the way we use breads, in terms of flavours or ingredients. And we thought let’s introduce something different, we essentially wanted to bring something new to people’s tables,” Ritika Agarwal, the mind behind the bakery, tells us. The expert-run kitchen started its run during the lockdown and quickly discovered it had a lot of ground to cover vis-a-vis consumer demands and we caught up with Agarwal to understand her vision.

You started your bakery amid the lockdown…

Yes. My mum used to be a home baker, so baking has become a part and parcel of our lives. Right before Covid hit, my mum had successfully completed her training in bread making. She then trained me and her team but before we could go ahead with any substantial plans, the lockdowns were announced.

There were many people who couldn’t access fresh, everyday bread during that period. That’s how 1920 Bakery came about, we started with three essential breads, namely milk loaf, brown bread and the dalia bread which is a hotseller. Since then of course, we’ve expanded upon our menu, after we have did extensive research, multiple classes and quite a bit of in-house development.

Do you have a set catalogue or menu?

There are certain things which are always there on our menu, and we try to update it every six to eight weeks, be it with season’s special edit or healthy breads. For instance, we did a Christmas menu and during fall our spiced pumpkin breads did really well. The December menu had some vegan options. It’s funny, when our customers were looking for vegan breads, we did some research and realised we already have some things in our line-up that are vegan. We are also looking at making gluten-free options next so the menu gets more inclusive

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