Anns Bakery: A success story that tastes like exquisite cakes

The story of Ann's Bakery begins with Annamma Joseph baking a cake at home in 1984. Photo: Manorama Online

Anns Bakery is synonymous with delectable sweets, cakes and savouries for Kottayam. The bakery, which was originally launched in Pala 37 years ago by Annamma Joseph, caters not only to the locals of Pala but also to Malayalis within and outside Kerala. It all began after Annamma baked a cake at home in 1984. Her confidence received a boost as everyone who tasted the cake complimented her. Acting on her husband's suggestion, she baked another cake the following day, which too drew praise. This marked the inception of Ann's Bakery. Annamma Joseph recounts the journey of Anns, which started as a single-room establishment in Pala and has now expanded to approximately 20 outlets.

“Attaining our present position required substantial effort. I paid little attention to how others conducted their businesses. My priority is to ensure that the pastries I create are exceptional. Therefore, I am unwilling to compromise on quality. Initially, the bakery had only one assistant. Even though we now have over 150 employees, I handle the mixing of all the cakes. This is to guarantee quality and also to safeguard the secrecy of my recipes. The name Anns was suggested by my husband and it was derived from my name, Annamma. The global familiarity with the name Ann caught the attention of people everywhere.”

Annamma Joseph's extensive travels have been instrumental in the growth of Ann's Bakery. Whenever she visited a new country, she would savour its dishes and collect recipes. After adapting and tweaking these recipes in her style, the name Anns became synonymous with the distinct taste of the people of Kottayam. The bakery boasts of a variety of foreign dishes acquired by Annamma through her travels to numerous countries. The Pala native also collects local cookbooks during her travels to different countries and owns a big library of such books.

Cakes the main draw at Ann's
The diverse array of cakes stands out as the main attraction at Ann's Bakery. It stocks traditional plum cakes alongside foreign and other cakes that are exclusive to Anns Bakery. Despite the easy availability of cake pre-mixes in the market, Annamma refrains from using them, opting to prepare the cake mix and sponge in-house. It is a tradition with Anns to introduce a new dish annually, with the latest addition being a cake named Normandy, made by using only premium quality ingredients.

Annamma emphasizes the importance of delivering quality products rather than focusing on the quantity of products that are sold. The bakery's stated commitment to maintaining quality has garnered a significant fan base for the establishment. Products of Anns Bakery are popular not only in Kerala but also in places like Chennai, Coimbatore, and Bengaluru. Many travelling abroad also make it a point to carry Ann's sweets and pastries with them.

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