About US

A little history

It all starts with the OLD Kalman Cold Storage” *, which was founded in Calcutta, in the 1930s, by accidental migrant and Hungarian charcutiereKalman Kohary (who met, fell in love, romanced and started a family, with his beautiful Anglo-Indian sweetheart in a glorious English Calcutta of yesteryear), in the long shadows and grandiose embers of the British Raj  at a kinder, more genteel and unhurried time, a feudal age of Noblesse Oblige and the “Koi Hai”s, when perhaps Calcutta, always the City of Joy, and parallelly ever the quixotic Cosmopolis of Aristocrats and Old Money, still basked in the glory of its Unquestioned Relevance as South Asia’s Greatest Metropolis, its political, industrial, commercial, educational, intellectual and cultural epicenter and masterpiece, heart of the Indian Rennaissance and the Jewel in the Crowns of TudorHanover and Windsor, Calcutta’s Golden Age of being the Britsh Imperial Capital, not only for the (Undivided) Indian Subcontinent

[from the valleys of the Panj Shir and the Amu Darya to the Straits of Malacca and from the Pamir Plateau to Mauritius and Diego Garcia atoll in the Southern Indian Ocean]

but the seat of the British Imperial Viceroy … second only to Her Royal Majesty Rex Britanniae of the Court of St. James at Westminster.  From this glorious Calcutta eyrie, His Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryExcellency, the then-Viceroy ruled and strove to enforce the Pax Britannicaover the entire fabulous British ‘Eastern Empire’,

stretching from Africa and Arabia to ChinaAustraliaNew Zealand and the South Seas encompassing perhaps a quarter of the world’s habitable landmass …

  • Kalman’s erstwhile brick-and-mortar retail store, a tiny sliver of a hole in the wall on Free School Street (next to ‘New Market‘, opposite St. Thomas Anglican Church) in Calcutta, operated for over half a century, before finally, sadly and terminally closing its doors in January, 2019 — prithee may its soul rest in peace!  [The premises converted to a clothing shop.]
    • For more than half-a-century, Kalman’s was the only source of old-school Deli meats (Sausages, Ham / Pork, Beef / Buff, Turkey, Duck, Quail and much more) — for
        • the local Anglo-Indian, Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Armenian, Colonial Expatriate and other communities and their ilk,
        • the Educated, Westernized & English-speaking Upper Classes (Calcutta’s ‘High Society’ / Intelligentsia / Gentry / Aristocracy), 
               as well as
        • many restaurants and other institutional customers …

… who developed the taste, habit and tradition of sourcing much of their kitchen provisions / culinary ingredients / gastronomic merchandise from Kalman’s. 

  • So, the closure of the old Kalman (brick-and-mortar) store precipitated a crisis for the large number of households, restaurants and commercial establishments, that depended on the institution that WAS the Old Kalman’s, for their groceries and supplies, week in and week out. 
  • Skillet & Griddle‘s restaurants had been major consumers of the products that the old Kalman’s store had sold.  So we were affected in a very personal way.  
    • We were getting a lot of pressure from our customers, who were missing the dishes we served, based on the Kalman’s products.  
    • And then we were approached by certain organizations, which were basically groups of passionate Calcutta Foodies, who wanted an outlet to start up again, to sell the stuff that Kalman’s used to — a Kalman’s Resurrected!  
    • Some of the leaders and opinion-makers among these enthusiasts were quite vocal in encouraging us to engage in this project of Kalman’s Resurrected, and promising us their support, so much so that they volunteered to participate with us in re-creating the lost institution.  
  • To alleviate the crisis of these hapless and provide continuity to their time-honoured way of life, and inspired by the Indo-European legacy of Kalman Kohary‘s passage to India, from Budapest on the Danube to Calcutta on the Ganges by way of London on the Thames, we decided to embark upon “Project Kalman’sResurrected“.  So, we have been founded to continue romancing and choreographing the far pavillions of this nostalgic ‘British Raj’ heritage institution, this corner-stone of Ye Olde Worlde ‘Brown Sahib’ and ‘White Mughal‘ culture and Colonial Calcutta history. 
  • But we also understood that the Old Kalman’s had many shortcomings. 
    • The European owner’s family had left India long ago, leaving the store in the hands of some Bengalee ex-staff-members and local Muslim workers, who were perhaps not the native or natural consumers of the types of products Kalman’s made and sold.  
    • Perhaps as a result, the menu had stagnated for decades, not keeping pace with the ongoing developments in either culture or technology in the Deli industry worldwide, or even basic health standards and sanitary best practices for food production and handling.  
    • The equipment had been exhausted, worn out beyond any physical possibility of usability, and was failing — and not able to be repaired.  
    • Product quality had also fallen very badly in the last 2 decades.  
    • The old store had never modernised, just selling, in cash only — whatever they could, from their little hole-in-the-wall, to whomever would come.  And at that busy Central Calcutta location next to ‘New Market’, people still came.  After all, they were then the only game in town! 
    • Their location had been prime in its day, but the neighborhood had run down and the retail eco-system had changed.  The local Anglo-Indian/Christian community had moved away, convenient parking was nowhere to be found, and the new Shopping Centers like Qwest Mall and South City Mall had largely taken away the high-end shoppers of yesteryears from the neighborhood.  
    • Amazon, Flipkart and their ilk has changed people’s expectations of the shopping experience.  People now want clean, fast and hassle-free shopping, with convenient online payments and home delivery
  • So we realized that if we have do this project, we can only do it while simultaneously upgrading to adapt to the age of WalMart-Flipkart, Amazon, Paypal and Bitcoin. 
  • A tribute to the long ago Sausage-Maker from Hungary, whose Wanderlust brought him to the shores of India’s lush and magnificient East, we are conceived to be a Virtual Deli, an online store selling various types of Deli products,
    • including much of the legacy product assortment of the heritage store (‘Kalman Cold Storage’), 
           but also
    • including a great deal more — such as
      • European,
      • Korean,
      • Japanese,
      • Chinese,
      • South-East Asian, and
      • Middle Eastern delicacies, and
      • Indo-phile, Vegan and Vegetarian twists on traditional European Deli foods. 
  • This website is the home for our dynamic menu(s). 
  • Customers, expected mostly to be from the Calcutta area initially, will be able to place their orders online from this website. 
  • In many cases, if an item is not kept in stock, customers will be requested to place their orders and make their payments in advance — so that we can serve them their purchase(s) freshly-made.
  • Customers’ purchases will be delivered to their locations, which need to be within our easy reach.