Hospitality Malta 02 - Page 17

W hen I walked into the production area of The Food Fac- tory I was immediately struck with the great atten- tion to detail to hygiene, including having your shoe soles cleaned and dusted as well (apart from the de rigeur overalls etc). The layout was vast and busy, with many different processes going on at the same time. Capable hands sifted ingredients, batched them for various production processes, and so much more. This is a far cry from how it all began, in 1989, when sixteen-year-old James Barbara had one dream, one oven and one small room in the back yard of his par- ents’ house. Today, this dream has flourished into a fully-fledged catering empire, a successful real-life example of all the marketing definitions and strate- gies one could think of. Yet CEO Joshua Zammit is not a family member and was brought in just less than two years ago to oversee and consolidate the proposed expansion ideas that James was aiming for. The business structure that was set up now comprises various independent and complimentary entities involved in creating the fi- nal picture we, as customers, see….a holding entity, a manufacturing company, a food service company and a trading company. And, coming very soon later this year, even a restaurant and a coffee shop will be launched. “What’s behind the façade of our organisation is re- ally a labour of love,” he said. It’s a far cry from the early days 28 years ago when their first cottage industry cakes were sold door to door in Fgura, be- fore expanding for a wider reach through van sales followed by a larger garage set-up! But the basic approach hasn’t been lost in the light of this mul- ti million Euro growth, and you could easily find James himself fine-tuning works on the premises! HOSPITALITY MALTA Creating Taste Today, The Food Factory sees itself as creating taste, as the slogan on their main offices boldly announces before you’ve even set foot inside. It is the product supplier to the other entities in the Group such that they see each other as clients and suppliers as well. Through them, The Food Factory is already able to reach a vast and diverse clientele ranging from air- lines, hospitals, old peoples’ homes, and others. Joshua explained that “today one of our companies still supplies AirMalta’s in-flight catering services be- sides other airlines such as Emirates, and we are keen to continue viewing our potential growth in the tour- ism sector such as servicing hotels, restaurants and other caterers.” He does not see the fact that some other companies might already have their own in house catering facilities as a disadvantage to collabo- rating together since the possibilities of working to- gether are often overlooked. “There is always the op- portunity to help each other, learn together and open up new avenues of collaboration,” he said.