By Zertab Quderi
A walk down the foot over bridge from in front of the American Embassy to the opposite side led me to a most delightful address today – House 1/A, Road 2/A, Block J, Baridhara. The entrance to the ground floor apartment is guarded by a simple wooden framed door. What lay behind that door was even simpler and more honest. I was welcomed by an earthy smell of wood and a whiff of coffee.
Let me introduce you to Dhaka Dough – a brand new venture by a few environment and food enthusiasts comprising Muntasir Mamun, Shamima Akhter, Mr. Nomany, cubs from Kewkradong Bangladesh and others who have helped this dream materialize by lending a helping held from cleaning the space to donating old clothes and empty bottles.
Dhaka Dough is more than an outlet that sells organic foodstuff and Ethiopian coffee. It’s a commendable marriage of the organic food philosophy with the recycling of eco-friendly by-products. The simple wooden furniture is all hand-made. The side tables have been made from applebox planks and round slabs of wood usually used by butchers. Empty bottles have been carefully sawed off and turned into lightshades. The counter front has a beautiful image done in colored chalk by an artistic child. An LP player plays soft music to soothe the ears. With a seating arrangement of fourteen people, Dhaka Dough is not the place for hipsters, the selfie or the check-in crowd. It’s been carefully crafted for those who look for and appreciate quality and organic food, or want to spend some time with friends over a cup of coffee made from freshly ground beans and butter cookies that smell divine. On the product list are rice grains, lentils, whole wheat brown flour, edible oils, jams, peanut butter, honey, powdered spice, etc – all sourced from carefully selected vendors from Bogra or made with local produce.
A long chat with the main brain behind Dhaka Dough revealed some pretty interesting facts. Muntasir Mamun is an engineer by profession but has dumped his career to pursue more challenging and rewarding interests like cross-country cycling, mountaineering, organizing and leading annual coastal clean-ups, and trying out new business ventures. He said that Dhaka Dough does not use any plastic materials to keep true to the eco-friendly philosophy. In addition, all the jams and preserves are made from only those fruits that are native, like guava. The bottles where the preserves are stored are properly washed and cleaned before they are used. Dhaka Dough grinds coffee beans on a smaller scale, ensuring a fresher taste to the coffee connoisseurs. The small packs where the coriander, cumin and other powdered spices are stored have been recycled from thread spools. The jars where Sundarban honey is kept are made from recyclable materials. Muntasir and the gang mean to use the walls of Dhaka Dough as a place for artists to showcase and sell their art pieces.
Dhaka Dough will be up and running from November 20th, 2015. If you want to find a place that offers a break from the noisy traffic, some calming music and a range of organically produced foodstuffs, then drop by at Dhaka Dough and don’t forget to taste their inimitable butter cookies and a cup of Ethiopian coffee!