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Keventers comes to Kathmandu

BREAK FOR SHAKE: Keventers kiosk at the recently opened Labim Mall

Kathmandu, August 12, 2016: Set against a backdrop of Kanchenjunga, the hill station of Darjeeling is popular for its teeming, steep streets, and infectiously friendly locals. And one of the places where the young and old of Darjeeling have always congregated is Keventers, the colonial dairy and pastry shop.

Rabi Rajkarnikar fondly recalls spending time at this cosy café in his school days. Overlooking the town, the balcony made an ideal spot to while away time and socialise with fellow schoolmates over sumptuous hotdogs cold glasses of the famous Keventers milkshake.

“It was affordable and a cool place to hang out in. It was our go-to place before movies and for outings,” said Rajkarnikar, who studied at North Point. Other Nepali students who studied in renowned schools like Mount Hermon and St Paul’s also have fond memories of hanging out at Keventers.

Keventers in Darjeeling, India.
Keventers in Darjeeling, India.

Now, the students can live out the nostalgia of “Darj days” when Keventers opens its outlet at Labim Mall in Pulchok — the first outlet in its international expansion. The kiosk on the promenade of the mall will be selling from 15 August what it is best known for: frothy, flavoured milkshakes.

“Milkshakes are a better alternative to soda or alcohol. The idea is to not make this an expensive product, so that everybody can enjoy it,” said Bhaskar Koirala, who is bringing Keventers to Kathmandu. The kiosk will offer up to 20 different flavours, with classics like vanilla, mango, chocolate and the well-known Tutti Frutti flavour.

The company was founded by Danish dairy entrepreneur Edward Keventers in 1925 with four factories: in Darjeeling, Delhi, Calcutta and Aligarh. Ram Krishna Dalmia took ownership after Independence, expanding the business to other cities in India, like Delhi and Benaras.

Keventers 3

The arrival of Keventers in Kathmandu is a pleasant surprise for people like Rajkarnikar, who grew up knowing and consuming its milkshakes. “I would love to enjoy the Keventers experience again in Kathmandu. Hope it brings back old memories of Darjeeling,” said Saugat Shrestha, who also spent two years as a student in Darjeeling.

To support and encourage Nepal’s business climate, the franchise will source milk and ice-cream for its milkshakes from local vendors in Kathmandu. “It is important to promote local products. If the products are good, there might be possibilities of exporting them, which is beneficial for local businesses here,” said Koirala.

The localisation approach will not be limited to milkshakes, but also the Keventers packaging. A signature product of the franchise — its distinctive glass bottles — will be given a Nepali touch with lali guras, the national flower of Nepal, printed on it. Says Koirala: “Over the years, the bottles have become an iconic product of the franchise and adds to the brand’s aesthetic quality.”

By Smriti Basnet