The India Coffee House chain was started by the Coffee Board in early 1940s, during British rule. In the mid 1950s the Board closed down the Coffee Houses, due to a policy change. The thrown-out workers then took over the branches, under the leadership of the communist leader A. K. Gopalan(AKG) and renamed the network as Indian Coffee House. The first Indian Coffee Workers Co-Operative Society was founded in Bangalore on 19 August 1957. The first Indian Coffee House was opened in New Delhi on 27 October 1957. Gradually, the Indian Coffee House chain expanded across the country, with branches in Pondicherry, Thrissur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Tellicherry and Pune by the end of 1958. In Kerala there are two societies (Malabar and Travencore-Cochin area) formed. All India Coffee Workers’ Co- operative Societies Federation - a federation of Indian Coffee Workers’ Co-operative Societies- in 1960 December 17 at Delhi. Later Bellary and Madras (Chennai) Societies were separated from their mother societies.
Kerala has the largest number of Indian Coffee Houses, approximately 51. Advocate T. K. Krishnan, a Communist Leader of Thrissur and N. S. Parameswaran Pillai, the State Secretary of the India Coffee Board Labour Union and a thrown-out employee of ICH were the founders of ICHs in Kerala. The first Indian Coffee House of Kerala was started in Thrissur in 1958. It was also the fourth ICH in the country. It was inaugurated by A. K. Gopalan on 8 March 1958.
There is also an alternative history book about the ICH movement, in Malayalam - Coffee Housinte Katha or History of Coffee House by N. S. Parameswaran Pillai under the pen name, Nadakkal Parameswaran Pillai. This is the only published written history of ICH movement in any language. The book won theAbudhabi Shakthi Award as the best autobiography in 2007. Courtesy Wikipedia
Here are some photos from the Indian Coffee House, near Koratty enroute to Trichur from Ernakulam.
A smiling and welcoming hotel supplier at the India Coffee House