14 June 2006

The Web
Business Today

Maltese loaf to test Chinese taste buds

James Debono

Maltese entrepreneur Mario Debono has embarked on a challenging mission; seducing the Chinese with the irresistible smell of the freshly baked Maltese loaf.
Debono, the director of Maypole Bakery of Qormi will be meeting Chinese entrepreneurs in Guangdong with the aim of setting up a bakery to produce Maltese bread in China.
The project is bound to be a challenge as Debono acknowledges that bread is not yet part of the Chinese staple diet.
“Western bread has already made inroads in the Japanese market. As the Chinese adapt to a faster pace of life, they could also start consuming more bread. “Who knows? Maypole might have the possibility of tapping this market! One will have to wait and see,” he says about the ambitious project.
Debono sees this as an opportunity for the family-run company to enter the globalised world.

“Just as the Chinese have penetrated the Maltese and European markets with their cuisine, we seek to reciprocate by introducing some of our delicacies in their market.”
The director of Maypole Bakery, and a baker by profession, will accompany a Maltese delegation headed by former minister and president of the Malta China Friendship Society Reno Calleja, which will be in China next month.
The delegation will visit the world’s fastest growing market to participate in the celebrations that will mark the 50 anniversary of the foundation of the Guangdong Friendship Society.
The highlight of Malta’s participation in the celebrations will be a 10 day gastronomic festival that will be organised at the Dong Fang Hotel.
The participation of Maypole in the Guangdong festival was made possible by the Malta China Friendship Society.
Reno Calleja points out that China offers immense opportunities for Maltese entrepreneurs.
“This initiative could result in a joint venture between Chinese entrepreneurs and a Maltese company. This has already happened in Australia, where staple Maltese products have penetrated the market. Tapping the vast Chinese market would be a new opportunity,” Calleja says.
Maypole Bakery was established in the early 1900’s with the aim of producing fresh, nutritious bread to the Maltese people.
This family-run business with a track record of generations of bakers provides the local market with fresh daily traditional Maltese bread, soft rolls, and sliced bread.
During the past years it extended its range further to include whole meal Maltese loaf, Tournasol Baguette, nacho cheese and pumpkin seed slices, sundried tomato and parsley slices, sunflower seed buns, baquettes and will soon be launching a new dietary loaf.


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