‘Kirit will be missed’ - EasternEye

‘Kirit will be missed’

Kirit Pathak with Fakhruddin T Suterwalla
Kirit Pathak with Fakhruddin T Suterwalla

By Fakhruddin T Suterwalla

I FIRST met Lakhubhai Pathak, Kirit’s father, in the late 1960s, in Drummond Street, central London, where he had a small shop called Pathak Spices.

My brothers and I had an In­dian grocery business, and we use to supply spices and papads to him. I recall he specialised in homemade pickles, chutneys, fresh samosas and bhajias.

We got know each other well and he told me he was waiting for his son Kirit to join him af­ter he finished his studies, as the shop was doing well and they needed to expand.

Kirit and his wife Meena quickly grew the business and started making a range of pick­les and chutneys in the UK.

When we opened our TRS Cash and Carry in Southall, Kirit came to see us and wanted us to stock his products. They sold well and soon we were get­ting enquiries from customers in the US to whom we were sell­ing a lot of our products.

When the European Union was formed, we sold Patak’s products to countries there.

In 2007, Kirit and Meena, who was instrumental in the business and played a valuable part in the development and recipes of their products, de­cided to sell their company to Westmill Foods, part of the ABF Food Conglomerate.

Kirit believed he could spe­cialise in sourcing and develop­ing the best quality products, ensure they conformed to the strict hygiene and microbiolog­ical standards required by the EU and leave the marketing and distribution to someone else.

The was a wise decision as he went on to develop innovative curry sauces, pastes and ready-cooking sauces, which are now not only used by thousands of Indian restaurants in the UK and Europe, but also by consumers in the UK, Europe, Scan­dinavia, Russia, and even India.

The Patak’s brand is known for its quality and consistency and has taught consumers how to make a good curry.

The tragic death of Kirit in Dubai after a car accident is a great loss to the Asian commu­nity. He will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to Meena and the family for their loss. May his soul rest in ever­lasting peace.

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