Home Chennai Pondicherry Gets a New Shop for All Things Local

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    Jacqueline Kapur curates local fashion, home accessories, wellness products and food at her new store

    Pondicherry is the place to go to if you want unusual home accessories and crafts. Of course, getting to the artisans may involve a bit of homework, which is why Jacqueline Kapur decided to set up Le Pondicherry at The Promenade. The hotel, owned by Hidesign’s Dilip Kapur, sees a lot of tourists and Jacqueline, 50, says, “While each store in Pondicherry might promote one designer or one product, I wanted a store that would promote all of them together.” Kapur, who also runs Casablanca on Mission Street, and the accessory store, Ayesha, named after her daughter, admits, “Casablanca is a bigger departmental store with brands like Indian Terrain and Levi’s jeans. I wanted to start something that sells only products made in Pondicherry.”

    prom2Clothes and more
    For men and women, Kapur points to dresses and shirts by Pondicherry-based designer Naushad Ali, who works extensively with natural dyes. Also in store are skirts and children’s clothes designed by Upasana, who works only with organic cotton. “To go with the theme, we have stocked up on I Love Pondicherry T-shirts, bags, umbrellas and mugs, which are designed by a team of designers from Alchemy—including myself,” says Kapur who also owns the Red Earth Riding School in Auroville.

    Ready to eat
    Though Kapur wants to expand the food section, for now, you will find jams by Nature’s Gift, organic sweets by Natraj from Pondicherry and vegan organic chocolates by expats Jane Mason and Fabien Bontems. “I am also making flavoured olive oil like orange zest-chilli. The home made chocolate truffles are a big hit and we also offer biscotti,” she says. And for cheese lovers, there is a selection of blue cheese, camembert and gorgonzola cheese, from Mango Hill, started by the French national, Oliver Laederich. You will love the home made pork pate by Love Meat and Tender.

    Souvenir’s anyone?
    From local brand, Natureveda, Kapur has handpicked candles, aromatic oils and incense sticks. Also find Wellpaper baskets and penholders along with Daffodil yoga mats and runners made from grass. “I am manufacturing sea salts too, which will be available at the store. There are different flavours like lemongrass-ginger, red wine and vanilla-fennel to choose from,” says Kapur. For children, there are Bendi toys—made from wood and cotton in Auroville— Pondicherry-oriented postcards and fridge stickers and keychains from local company Alter Ego. Also including products from their in-house brands, Hidesign, Holi and Ayesha, Kapur offers,“Anybody can walk in and collaborate with us.”
    Apparel start from Rs.2,000.
    Details: 9442116029.

    —Mrinalini Sundar

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