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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

From 150 cakes in 1950s to 2,500 orders in a week

Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 25, 2011
First Published: 00:31 IST(25/12/2011) | Last Updated: 00:36 IST(25/12/2011)

Christmas rush was not something Wengers was always accustomed to. After it was opened in 1926 by a Swiss couple, Wengers got very few orders for Christmas cakes. In 1945, it was taken over by the Tandon family that currently runs it.

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"Christmas did not see much of a rush. Families preferred to bake at home. By the 1950s, we would get only about 150 orders for plum cakes during the Christmas week," said Charanjeet Singh, a manager who started working at Wengers in 1965 and heard stories of the yore from its owner.

According to Singh, the change started to come about after 1975.

"I associate the growth of popularity to the increasing education level and awareness. After 1975, the demand for Christmas-related goodies started picking up," he said.

Today, the store sells about 2,500 plum cakes in the week before Christmas. Other products such as the gingerbread man, fruit mince pies, plum pudding and marzipan sweets have also found their way into the Christmas menu.

"We start preparations a month before the Christmas week and soak the plums and other fruits in wine and sugar. Cakes in the shape of Yule logs and baskets are in huge demand," Singh said.

At Wengers, sales figures indicate that Christmas is not only matching Diwali but is beating it. "This is the busiest time for us," Singh signs off.

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