Khamkars belong to Aargaon in District Ratnagiri, Taluka Lanja. Taanu Khamkar was the eldest among five brothers. During 1918-19, he came to Mumbai with his younger brother Raghunath via Bhaucha dhakka. He then started working at Tardeo Market and stayed there. Gradually Taanu started selling Kokam, coconuts, chillies from Tardeo market and Raghunath started selling spices door to door. Later, Taanu bought a house and a shop and settled at Tardeo( The Tanu Bhikaji Khamkar shop at Tardeo exist even today), and Raghunath with his study of spices business settled in Lalbaug Market. With friends from his business, Raghunath excelled in business tricks and bought four shops and a house in Lalbaug. With the expansion of business, he invited his three brothers, Bhau, Pundalik and Waman settled in Lalbaug. In few years, number of family members reached 40. Five brothers namely Taanu, Bhau, Pundalik, Raghunath and Waman slowly expanded the business and after a good grip in business, Khamkar brothers bought and started spices shops at Mahim, Bhoiwada and DelisleRoad. Jagdish, son of Pundalik Khamkar took this business to international level. As the sons got married, family was separated and except Lalbaug, rest all spices shops vanished away, but four shops started by Pundalik, Raghunath and Waman khamkar continued the business.Third generation of Khamkars namely Rahul, Mayuresh, Amar, Amit, Santosh, Sujit, Sanket and Sanjog are nurturing the legacy of the family business. At the entrance of Chiwda Galli of Lalbaug, we find four shops of Khamkars namely A.K.(Ashok Khamkar), R.K.(Raghunath Khamkar), S.K. (Sadashiv Khamkar) and G.W.K. (Gopichand Khamkar). Inspite of being in the same lane and same business, all the four shops have retained their specialities and clientele.
Mall culture is on rise, still small grocery shops have retained their customers. The trust factor keeps the link alive. While third generation of our family is looking after the business now, third generation of customers are associated with us too. This relation is cherished due to the quality of our products. Each community like Malwani, Konkani, Ghati, CKP, Pachkalshi, Aagri have difference in their spices. This trust is nurtured as their requirement is fulfilled in no time."
Apart from spices, Ashok Khamkar also has daily grocery products like sprouts, wheat, rice etc. Along with spices and grains, G.W. Khamkar's shop is famous for seasonal availabilities such as decoration and pooja material in Ganeshotsav andcrackers in Diwali. Owner Sanket Khamkar further adds, "after 1970, we started seasonal stuff with spices to keep pace with changing times. We have also introduced a new mobile app for smartphone users. Now they can place an order online and get the bill on whatsapp. For future reuse of the same order, only bill no. is sufficient for the reference, which makes the work easy and also saves time and paper. 350 customers are availing this facility today. We are also leveraging social media such asFacebook and LinkedIn to connect with our customers. We also provide various tasty recipes everyday which could be made using our spices. We have launched our website www.khamkarspices.in and thereby reaching out to maximum number of customers."