Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Michaels Ice Cream Tiruchirapalli

Trichy's Favourite Ice Cream Shop is completing 80 years 
Way back in 1939, a small 200 feet shop was opened at the foot of the famous Rockfort (Uchi Pillayar Koil) Temple opposite the Main Guard Gate in Trichy that sought to serve ice creams and Grape Syrup to visitors  and college students. It also served as a snack bar for villagers who brought vegetables and fruits from nearby villages every morning to Tiruchirapalli.

The Burma Bazaar  around the sacred tank became a popular destination for goods from overseas market. The area also was home to all the popular colleges in the city.  The Thayumanavar temple and the Uchi Pillayar Koil was a sacred temple for devotees from across the state. 

Despite all these favourable factors that triggered the entry of Michaels, it still remains a remarkable  achievement to have first survived eight decades and to have also emerged as the most favourite ice cream brand of Tiruchirapalli.
In the first few decades of its launch, Grape Syrup, available for 25 Paise, was the biggest hit among the customers who have since remained loyal to this brand of ice cream for several decades.

What is admirable over these decades has been the focus on quality. While the parlour has moved on to the third generation of brothers, quality has remained the same. Each day, they heat and boil the milk to the brim losing 20% (of the milk) in this heating process. They use the purest of the chocolate powder in the preparation of chocolate ice cream. On weeks that they are not able to source the best of ingredients, those flavours are not stocked, such is their commitment to quality. And that is the reason, that despite the emergence of several large and big branded ice cream shops cropping up in the town in recent times, people continue to flock to Michaels to taste different flavours such as Pista, Fruit Salad, Chocolate, Strawberry in small cups. 
It continues to be priced low with the costliest of ice creams priced at Rs. 15 and the popular grape syrup still at just Rs. 12/-.

V Mahendran ( referred to by customers and colleagues as Pandyan) has been serving customers now for close to three decades. When he joined, the ice creams were priced at just Rs. 1/50 as was the Grape Syrup.

He is thrilled at the commitment of the owners over such a long period of time and their focus on quality as he brings out the branded choco powder from inside to showcase their commitment to quality 'Even on a single day, they have not compromised on the quality. If on any the best of choco powder is not available, on that day, chocolate ice cream will not be made and we will be one ice cream short on that day.'
He has found great satisfaction in serving customers day in day out during these three decades of his stint here at Michaels. Most of the decades long customers call him as Pandyan and he almost knows what their next order would be.

There are many college students who take delight in working part time here just for the joy of serving Trichy's favourite ice cream to customers. No soon has one finished Pista, one can hear the loud call for a Kesar Badam. Most customers usually end with their 'Favourite of all' - the Grape Syrup.

Another youngster who serves at the joint recalled my January trip to the shop when I visited  again almost six months later, last week, that's the level of customer service at Michaels.

It is summer time and Mango is a big hit, with many customers first going for the tasty pure Mango cream.
Anyone visiting the busy Burma Bazaar below the Rockfort temple rarely misses a bite and a sip at Michaels. It is the customer and not the profit intent that is driving the third generation owners to continue this popular brand into the ninth decade, making available over 10 different flavours. And it is a journey that is likely to continue much into the future.
                           Jerome - One of the Third Gen Owners

Michaels Ice Cream is open between 10am and 10pm.

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