Sunday, March 31, 2013

Memories of Bhat and Joishy’s Herbal Soda Shops

This article was first published on April 1, 2007 in a Mangalorean web portal as ‘Herbal Coolers For Scorching Summer’

It is 11.30 A.M. The place is ever busy - Car Street in Mangalore. A man in his early sixties carefully crosses the street near Gokarn Mutt and climbs the two steps that lead into a small shop. He gazes at a display board hanging by the fridge, turns around and announces - "One Hingashtaka with sugar and salt!" and occupies the wooden bench by the side wall.


The man at the sparkling clean stainless steel machine asks his assistant to pass on the tumbler with lime-sugar syrup. Then he opens a plastic container, fills a heaped spoonful of a powder mixture into the tumbler, fills the glass with fizzy fresh soda from the machine, adds little salt, mixes the contents with a spoon and hands it over the tired man on the bench, who is busy wiping the sweat off his face.

The man hurriedly sips the contents. "Glug..glug..glug...aah!"

All the exhaustion that showed on his face earlier has vanished now! He pays the owner of the shop and walks away zealously into the scorching sun!

It is not a wonder; these incredible 'pick-me-ups' are so good at quenching thirst that many people from different parts of the city swarm this place at Car Street not only in the summer, but all round the year.

M. Narasimha Bhat and K. Sumanth Joishy, two youngsters started this unique concept of Herbal (Ayurvedic) Soda in Mangalore, in the year 2001. Bhat was inspired by Bholenath Soda Shop in Dwarka back in year 2000 where they were selling over 40 different kinds of sodas. Rajaram Bhat a relative who had similar enterprise in Karkala guided them in setting up their first establishment. Joishy had the experience of working in his grand father’s Ayurvedic Medicine shop, M/s M. Ganapayya and Sons for 5 years. He also had his own Ayurvedic Medicine shop before venturing into Herbal Soda business.

In the initial months, Bhat and Joishy had a tough time, arriving at the right formula. After many trials and errors, they could succeed in stabilizing a standard unmatched by other four or five who are in the business.

These instant sodas are sold in at least 12 different varieties such as – Lime, Ginger, Hingashtak, Pepper, Jaljeera, Chaat, Paanak, Nannari, Madiphal, Buttermilk, Buttermilk Hingashtak and Kokum. While most of these are coolants, some have restorative properties in the case of gastric disorders. Hingashtak is a known digestive and appetizer.

Madiphal has antacid action. It also induces sleep or regulates sleep. Kokum, Nannari and Jaljira are good thirst quenchers. All these products are pure and natural. No artificial flavouring or colouring is used in making these sodas. Water is purified using modern methods and care is taken to control flies especially during deep summer when they swarm in big numbers. Disposable food grade plastic tumblers are used for serving the soda. Most of the ingredients are readily available in the market.

This idea has clicked and their product has become so popular that they were inspired to open two more outlets, one near Mangaladevi Temple called 'Sharbath Katte' and another opposite Canara High School Urva in Gandhinagar called 'Rasadhara'. Rasadhara also has fresh fruit juices and assorted fresh fruits for the youngsters who crave for cool treats after play at school.

5 persons are employed by Bhat and Joishy in their business. They are all hard working boys with concern for quality and hygiene.

Their daily sales range from 400 to 600 glasses. Prices are affordable. These drinks are safer, compared to artificially flavoured aerated bottled drinks. Those who have relished these sodas have only praises for the quality and purity of these drinks.

"It is customer satisfaction that is most important for us in maintaining our standards", says Bhat. "Health is wealth" says Joishy. "Our customers range from 8 month's baby to 80 year old senior citizen!"

"Spread the news among our Mangaloreans abroad. Visit us and we will not let you down."  They both say with confidence!

I fully agree with them, for I normally wouldn't leave the place before guzzling down one Hingashtak and one Jaljira myself!

One must experience it to believe it! After all, it's herbal, natural and fresh!

Pics courtesy: Prakash Kamath Kanthavar


5 comments:

saigeetha pai said...

Nice topic and loved the write up :)

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thank you Saigeetha

Mitha Hegde said...

Loved the writeup ma'am... My favorites are jaljeera and hingashtak... :)

Anonymous said...

nice article
can you send their phones numbers pls
my name is ramu
my mobile no:+91 9908199903
thank you

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Mr Ramu,

This is an old article written in 2007. I don't have contact of Mr. Bhat or Joishy now. They have also separated and doing business individually. However, if I meet them in person, I shall pass on your number to them. You can also try and find numbers of M Ganapayya and Sons in Mangalore, and find out Joishy's number, as he's related to them.

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