Jamnadasbhai started this venture so as to feed his huge family of around 15-20 people, where he was the only earning member. He started with taking orders for sweets in the wedding, but that was a limited source of income and wasn’t enough to help his family. So he started initially with famous farina of surat that is khaja along with sweet magaj. Also in addition to that was dudhi halwo, barfi and GHARI.
The conventional Ghari was a lot different from what it is today. Back then, it was made just of Rawa and Sugar. It was Jamnadasbhai who was keen in modifying that conventional and age old recipe of ghari dated back in 1917, by adding besan flour, coconut, mawa, elaichi, etc. in varied quantities giving us the variety of Gharis that we feast on today – Badam-Pista Ghari, Elaichi Ghari, Kesar Ghari and the myriad other combinations.
This shop was established on 4th of July, 1899, at the same place in Chauta Bazaar, which is also famous as the Bhuleshwar of Surat, which claims to sell everything from hair pins to air-planes (well atleast the parts)
A regular day at the shop starts with planning and penning down the details which makes it easy to show the work plan to the helpers. Everything goes in a well-organised pattern as all the members of the family are given different roles and departments to supervise from managing the manufacturing to the raw materials and the selling to the accounts – lessons in organization structure anyone? As everything is so sorted, or as we’d like to call it six-sigma efficient, the chances of error and disputes are rare.
We asked him if he has achieved the success he aimed for, after being the well-known spot for ghari and also ghebar which is yet another delicacy that Jamnadas store is proud of. Unperturbed by the daily drama around him, he munches that this is not even half of what they had aimed for.
They believe that Surat is a blessed land and if you give your 100% in your business then everything and anything is achievable, as long as the customer satisfaction is your focus. There are times when they have not hesitated to throw away their preparations because the taste wasn’t appealing enough. And its due to this dedication, people from all over the world have developed the craving for this delicacy.
To meet the requirements on busy days like chandi padwa (local surati festival) they have to hire extra man power which can be an army of 175-200 people, as the manufacturing of Ghari reaches to 40-45 kg /10min, from 100-150 kg per day (Whhooopp, quite a consumption!!!).
When he was asked about the current generation and their plans, he said that today the lads are too smart and much more intelligent than what we were back then, but the only problem with them is the impatience. He gets into a rather preachy mode and notes that the only way to be successful is to have that zeal to do any work, however small it may be. His business is certainly not small, neither is the love for his Ghari.
Here’s to a happy and cheerful Ghari and Bhusu season!!