Ah Shillong. One of our favorite places in the North East of India; a place where folks from across the region have shared memories of. Being a boarding school hub, students from across North East and even beyond come here for school and college education. You will thus see plenty of young folks adding color to the town. It is also a place for music and fashion lovers. So naturally, with such a vibrant crowd, Shillong has a host of cafes and restaurants – from cozy to fancy, serving a choice of cuisines.
Today we visit “The Grub Cafe and Bakery” located in Laitumkhrah Shillong. Started by a husband and wife duo, the place is known for their delicious and gigantic burgers, and their cute bakery section – with a spread of the loveliest desserts to suit any mood and weather. Let’s go meet the founders and find out why this place is a local favorite.
We had a chat with Banrisha – one of the partners of “The Grub Cafe and Bakery” to know more about the place, their story and their specialty items on the menu.
Hello Banrisha, please introduce yourselves, and give us a background of how you and your husband got together to start this venture.
Hi. I am the co-owner of “The Grub Cafe and Bakery”, which I started with my husband. Both of us are both from Shillong. I have a Bachelor’s degree in commerce from Chennai, and my husband has a Masters in Tourism and Management from Delhi. We decided to come back home in the year 2011 as my family wanted me home.
My husband was an asst professor in a college teaching his subject Tourism, and I was managing my family business and a couple of other businesses. One fine day, an opportunity opened up for us in the form of my mom’s old property in Laitumkrah, that suddenly became available. So we both jumped in and started planning to open our very own a bistro as it combines our love for food (my husband loves cooking), and also our skills and interests in the field.
Tell us how you went about starting this venture.
It took 7 months for everything to come together. We launched in July 2016. Initially, when we started, our café was a small 2-floor space (1 floor being the kitchen and the other, seating & display counter area). We wanted to cater to both savory and sweet, but we none of us baked, so we outsourced the bakery section to my niece who has a great talent in that line and gave her a platform for her skills as well.
We received a good response during the first year, so we decided to expand. We took the whole building into our hands and expanded upwards. So now we have a vertical café with four floors of seating areas. My niece decided to open her own outlet, so today we have another talented baker putting up her own baking section under “The Blue Ribbon” – which is the Grub’s bakery section
How did you choose the name “The Grub Cafe and Bakery”?
The name “The Grub” came into our mind abruptly, as it signifies eating and it is quite easy to say it out loud. We then add Café and Bakery below so we were clear with what we serve at The Grub.
What do you guys serve? What’s the most special thing on your menu?
We specialize in burgers (which also makes up the design of our Logo) and other items like pizza, hot dogs, sandwich, and pastas. When we started, we only had about 7 to 8 items on our menu board which hung on the counter wall. We used to change it every day based on the feedback from our customers. Even today, we keep changing our menu every 3 or 4 months adding new items that suit the season best, and also upon our customer’s requests and favorites. From the bakery section, our cheesecake is one of the best in town so far. Other desserts consist of pannacotta, varieties of cupcakes, custards, pies, pastries and a lot more.
The famous Grub’s Burger – one of their customers’ favorites.
The grub’s sumptuous burger with beef patty, cheese, egg, caramelised onion and bacon.
The Grub’s Penne Pasta.
What is so special about The Grub?
I guess what is special about our place is the connection we have with our customers. I still can’t believe that in a short period of 2 years, we have made friends and connected with a lot of people. Like how they say ‘Food brings people together’, I am now 100% sure that it does.
“And of course, our customers also find different elements of the place special – be it the ambiance, the food or the service . Plus we have a small book shelf where customers can pick any book and read or lend a book for free.”
The Grub’s Interior. Visit The Grub’s Instagram page for more.
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