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Maltra Foods celebrates 20 years

Maltra Foods, one of the largest powdered-food manufacturers in Australia, celebrated its 20th year of manufacturing and service to the food and beverage industry on 2 June.

Guests were treated to a factory tour before nearly 100 staff members gathered with the Eydlish family to commemorate the milestone with speeches and birthday cake.

“My mother and father Greg and Anna [Eydlish] started the company in 1997 as a family-run business, and it’s still 100 per cent family-owned,” said Jack Eydlish, Maltra Foods Vice President of Sales. “As a kid, I remember my father used to work as a master blender, procurement officer and company director, and my mother used to do admin and pack boxes in the back room in our small factory. They did it all, but we’re grown considerable since then.”

Starting out in St Kilda, Victoria, with only six employees, Greg and Anna specialised in making gourmet drinking chocolate for a handful of local cafés in Melbourne. In 2001, Maltra Foods moved from its 300 square metre factory to a combined space of 900 square metre factory in Moorabbin spread over nine buildings. To help meet growing demand, the company upgraded again in 2010 to its current purpose-built 6550-square-metre premises in Clayton. The factory, with state of the art blending and packing machines, can fill 240 cans in a minute, and has a holding bay that can store 100,000 can products and about 3700 pallets.

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Maltra Foods develops and manufactures high quality powdered and dry-blended products for hot beverages, iced blended beverages, sports nutrition, and baking categories across foodservice and retail.

Maltra Foods aims to be the number one powdered beverage supplier to the café and foodservice industry in Australia. It is now the biggest supplier of drinking chocolates to the café industry in Australia, and has developed more than 400 different types of hot chocolate blends.

Jack says one of the company’s crowning achievements was bringing Chai tea to the mainstream Australian market by creating the Arkadia brand. Arkadia Beverages is crafted and blended in Melbourne. It produces chai tea, drinking chocolate, frappés, and soft serves, suited to both cafés and at-home experiences.

“We’ve broken barriers and continue to move forward,” Greg says. “My initial vision was to start a business we could grow, and we did grow very quickly, maybe quicker than we expected to, but I always knew we could do it. Growth in the food manufacturing industry is important. I wanted to see an Australian-owned company succeed offshore, and we are. New Zealand has been a big supporter of Maltra Foods, and we’re doing well in the Asian markets. Our products are excellent, but growth depends on what the market wants.”

Maltra Foods currently exports to New Zealand, parts of the Middle East, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Italy later this year.

“Maltra Foods supports and develops young minds and promotes the food industry,” said Roman Eydlish, Maltra Foods Operation Manager. “Maltra Foods continues to support the local economy through recruitment of new staff and with further engagement with local university’s and business partners we hope to continue growing the manufacturing industry. Today, we stand in a very dynamic manufacturing site, one with the ability to not only hand craft products but machine automate.”

Federal MP for Chisholm, Julia Banks, attended the event and spoke about the significance of the milestone in Australian manufacturing.

“Greg and Anna, your story is one of true immigrant heritage. To create a business of this scale doesn’t happen without incredible hard work, but also love. The Turnbull government’s philosophy is about creating the future for our children, and you’ve done just that,” Julia said. “Your business promotes the food and manufacturing economy, and it’s a true Australian story.”

Maltra Foods General Manager Henri Kalisse says over the company’s 20 years’ experience, its greatest feat has been driving innovation and creating flavour profiles for high quality café products Australian consumers love.

“We’ve taken Arkadia and Maltra to the world. We are here to serve our customers, and the fact that they support what we produce, means the world to us. We are 20 years young, but our plans are for the future. Greg and Anna are investing in the future. This year, we plan to bring out new products and new innovation not yet seen in Australia,” said Henri.

“We are a solutions-based business that works with the local supply chain and grows together. We want to continue Greg and Anna’s legacy on a massive scale, and continue to increase our volume, but first and foremost it’s about developing taste and innovating. We also recognise that we can’t be the bet best without working with the best people, and we certainly have that. We are aiming to be the best leading exporter of products made in Australia, by Australians. We look forward to the next chapter, and the next 20 years.”

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