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A fisherman's cooperative society in Kolkata to launch a trendy café

A fisherman's cooperative society in Kolkata is set to give stiff competition to Dominos and KFC

Fish fingers with sauce. (Photo: Karyna Panchenko, Pexels)
Fish fingers with sauce. (Photo: Karyna Panchenko, Pexels)

A Press Trust of India (PTI) story published today reported that West Bengal-based brand Benfish will launch baked snacks at its own stores and franchisee outlets. It is a fisherman’s cooperative society that is all set to give multi-national chains, like KFC, Dominos and McDonald’s, a run for their money with regional snacks available at pocket-friendly prices.

The PTI story informed that ‘Benfish, which was registered under the West Bengal Cooperative Societies Act in 1978, provides leadership to 19 Central Cooperatives and 206 primary fishermen's cooperative societies under a three-tier cooperative system for strengthening sustainable pisciculture activities in inland and marine fisheries' sectors for increasing fish production and developing value added products.’

Fresh cuts and ready-to-eat fish preparations are sold on the website The About Us page of the website informs the business was started with a mere Rs. 2.65 lakhs about 50 years ago and is now contributing a turnover of about Rs. 400 crores.

Biplab Roy Chowdhury, West Bengal Minister of State for Fisheries, Independent Charge, was quoted by PTI as saying, “"Besides traditional fried food which we sell, Benfish is gradually shifting towards baked items as that is what the younger generation wants and trials are in full swing.”

The traditional fried foods they serve include fish balls, cutlets and fish fingers. The baked products will be piloted in a few of their outlets soon. Apart from these, they are experimenting with sandwiches with various fillings, including prawns. Since fish is integral to their business, they plan to launch chocolates shaped like fish.

The PTI story reported that a cafe is in the pipeline too: “(the) 60-seater café near its headquarters at eastern India's largest IT hub, Salt Lake Sector-V, (is) aimed at tech professionals and students who abound here.”

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