The Legacy Of Delhi's Legendary Bakery As It Celebrates 60 Years
Image Credit: The breads, cookies and cakes from Defence Bakery are huge crowd pullers

After the partition of India and Pakistan into separate countries, several people had to migrate and find a new home. One amongst them was Late Shri Jagdish Mitra Dhingra, who came to India from Multan (today Pakistan) with his family. First, they arrived in Bombay in 1947 and eventually moved to Delhi in 1961. Mr. Dhingra, who arrived in Delhi with the intention of building a business, set up his first residence in old Delhi. He pedaled every morning to Defence Colony market where his humble wholesale bakery was located. This is how the legendary Defence Bakery started its operations – it was initially a wholesale bakery to various resellers, subscription based D2D delivery trunk-riders and other restaurants and bakeries. In the decade between 1962 and 1972, the bakery started to evolve its menu to B2C as more customers started to appreciate the high quality of food standards and fine tastes. Today, this bakery has completed 60 years of being one of the most loved bakeries of Delhi.

Defence Bakery is known for its amazing cookies and these were introduced by the son of Shre JM Dhingra, Late Shri Dalip Kumar Dhingra. A graduate from IHM, Pusa, he came in with new ideas. The classic butter cookies and honey cookies slowly became a fan favourite as 200 glass jars filled with cookies of various types would be put on display every single morning. DB was also the first Delhi-based bakery to introduce the ready to eat pizza base! The butter cookies and the pizza base are still some of the best sellers. Speaking about the legacy of bakery, Gaurav Dhingra, who is from the third generation of the family and founder of Alma Bakery and Café says that, “Defence Bakery’s spirit comes from family values and beliefs where hard work and consistency is the key to success. The simplest things are the hardest to abide on a daily basis. Defence Bakery’s foundation rests on innovation, skilled & diligent employees, commitment to responsible growth and development for the well being of the community. We truly believe this humble approach led us to growth year by year and today, in 2022, we celebrate 60th Anniversary of our glorious journey.”

Freshly baked cookies | Facebook - Defence Bakery since 1962

Since the last decade, the family has founded and successfully ran several other businesses. The establishment of GK outlet of Defence Bakery in 2011, Alma Bakery in 2018 and Alma Café in 2019 have proven to be extremely successful. The bakery recently received the Best Customer Experience by Indian Food Connoisseur India Award and that is enough to explain just how consistent the place has been with its food and services. “In our work, when every time the customer is happy and comes back to DB is in itself a rewarding moment. One of the highlights of this profession is that we get instant gratification and instant results. If we did a good job, we immediately get to know that the customer is happy, and vice versa. This allows us to be agile with our approach towards work. We are customer oriented and our offer is based on many inspirations and constructive feedback from our customers. Receiving the award and getting so much appreciation from clientele are the kind of moments that keep us going and motivate the entire team. We are grateful”, says Gaurav Dhingra.

The success of Defence Bakery lies in knowing when and how to re-invent itself, cater to the audience and use feedback as a healthy input to grow. People swear by their heavenly butter cookies, delicious pies, lip-smacking brownies and oh so delicious cheese cakes. After celebrating 60 glorious years of the bakery, the new generation at the helm of things still has novelty to offer and that in itself is the true legacy of this place.