Whisk’s Sehar Puri breaks down why home production offers better artisanal value
Sehar Puri's bakery Whisk offers a balance of classical and contemporary numbers
When it comes to artisanal production or micro-batch assembly, home-run kitchens seem to have an edge over brick-and-mortar bakehouses. In the last few months, independent kitchens have simply been able to offer more. “In the past year, Kolkata witnessed a boom in the home bakery sphere. I feel this emergence of home-run bakeries elevated the dessert culture in the city. There’s someone coming up with something new every day, which is a good thing,” says Sehar Puri who launched her bakery Whisk last year.
Puri’s classical line-up helped her brand gain ground over other similar or competing brands, as Whisk offers picks like a traditional banoffee pie, New York-style cheesecake, key lime pies, made with authentically sourced ingredients. Puri recalls she decided to start Whisk so she could make the global confections she couldn't find in the city. “I’ve always had a sweet tooth. While travelling especially, I made it a point to try new desserts. So, when I couldn’t find them in Kolkata, I baked them!” she shares. The baker also shared a look into her operation:
Tell us how you source your ingredients
Since we prioritise quality over quantity, we’re always in search of the best suppliers, so we source our ingredients both locally and online. Whether it’s blueberries from Himachal Pradesh, Vanilla Pods from Kerala or our Callebaut chocolate online, we ensure that all our produce and ingredients are carefully handpicked
What are the kinds of recipes you hope to explore this year?
We will continue to revisit classics like the Black Forest Cake and Apple Crumble Pie. We’re also planning to introduce new items like the Spanish Burnt Basque Cheesecake, German Berliners, French Cannelés, the Scottish Millionaire’s Shortbread. At the moment, our best-sellers are the key lime pie and New York cheesecake.
Is everything made to order?
Most of our desserts are made to order to ensure freshness. This also gives us time to perfect a recipe, balance the flavours and work towards better presentation and customisation. It also helps us minimise wastage.
How viable has the home bakery format been for your brand?
The format has been ideal for our growth as it resonates with our artisanal priorities. It helps us add a personal touch to our desserts and also form direct relationships with our customers. Coupled with Instagram and app-based deliveries, we’ve been able to deliver all across Kolkata. In fact, we’ve even had some of our customers carry our desserts to Siliguri, Delhi, Mumbai and Toronto!
We also try to accommodate as many requests as possible, whether it be eggless cakes or our gluten-free Fudge Brownies. We try to ensure there’s something for everyone and we believe that’s why our customers keep coming back to us! Our youngest customer is 3 years old and our oldest one is 87.
For orders DM @WhiskKolkata