Maltra Foods celebrates 25 years of industry service

Maltra Foods

Maltra Foods looks back on 25 years of business and discusses how its exponential growth has led to the opening of brands like Arkadia Beverages. 

Maltra Foods, one of the largest powdered-food manufacturers in Australia, is celebrating its 25th year of manufacturing and service to the food and beverage industry this year.

Greg and Anna Eydlish founded the family-run and Australian-owned business in Melbourne in 1997. Having worked at Maltra Foods since its inception, son Jack Eydlish joined the family business, first as a Sales Manager and is now co-running the company with his brother, Roman Eydlish, as joint General Manager.

“We’ve learnt a great deal from our father over the years and have been very privileged to have him by our side. Roman brings operations, equipment, and engineering understanding to the table, while I’m more focused on customer service, building relationships with our partners and the marketing side of the company,” Jack says.

According to Jack, the key to keeping Maltra Foods relevant and successful is to keep it evolving, expanding its capabilities and offerings, and finding the best tailored solutions for customers.

“Being immersed in the manufacturing environment for so many years allows you to think on your feet quicker, find solutions for partners faster, and impart our knowledge onto the industry,” he says.

“If I had to look back, the biggest highlight for me would be creating key partnerships, both with suppliers and customers. From a brand perspective, being able to drive and collaborate with our partners, who have had enormous influence on the potential for growth, has been a really important factor for the business. Without that collaboration, it wouldn’t be possible to expand and grow.”

When asked how Maltra Foods has impacted the café industry, Jack says the company began with the idea to develop trusted brands that consumers can enjoy on every occasion.

“I think we’ve achieved that. Our portfolio of products for the café industry ensures there’s a beverage available from morning to night consumption,” Jack says.

“For example, if you wake up in the morning and feel like a flavoured coffee, the Arkadia brand offers a variety of premium syrups to mix into your morning brew. Then in the afternoon, if you’re caffeinated-out and wish for a hot chocolate or chai latte, the Urban barista range can cater for that.

“We’ve developed a lot of trust in the community because we stand for quality café products.”

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 saw a gap in the market at the time and felt there weren’t any chai products made with the love that we felt we could give to that sector. That’s how Arkadia was born. We wanted to give our consumers some key products with a lot of variety so that they themselves could fulfil café owners’ requirements,” he says.

Recently Arkadia Beverages expanded its portfolio to include an exclusive tea range.

“It took us about two years to select teas that we thought were right for the market, with plenty of cupping involved. Eventually, we narrowed it down to a range of seven varieties of ethically sourced teas and infusions, obtained exclusively for Australian cafés,” Jack says.

“We, as a team, are always focused on the key elements of being different and better. Taste is always at the heart of Arkadia innovation and product evolution.”

In the company’s 25-year history, Jack says he’s most proud of how Maltra Foods’ values its staff.

“Creating a healthy, happy working environment has always been our top priority. Whether you’re on the shop or warehouse floor or in sales, people need to be respected. Our employees have been on the journey with us and made a difference. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people,” he says.

“I’ve been lucky to meet some really amazing people who I highly respect in the industry. Forging those relationships over a long period of time has been absolutely rewarding. Very gratifying.”

To commemorate Maltra Foods’ 25th anniversary, the company held a small fete at the factory, with plans for a bigger celebration in 2023.

“Next year we’ll be opening our fourth facility in Australia in Pakenham. We plan to hold a grand celebration for the 25-year milestone at that new plant once its launched mid-2023,” Jack says.

He plans to continue Greg and Anna’s legacy on a massive scale and increase the company’s volume output.

“First and foremost, it’s about developing taste and innovating. We also recognise that we can’t be the 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,” he says.

“We’re always looking at how we can innovate and bring fresh ideas to the market, both in retail and foodservice, while also consolidating what we’re good at. We are here to serve our customers, and the fact that they support what we produce, means the world to us.”

Jack says he looks forward to further developing each of Maltra Foods’ subsidiaries and has no intention to slow down in the food and beverage industry.

“Our catchphrase is ‘we bring ideas to life’. I hope we continue to build an organisation that offers and supports Australian-made products and employment,” says Jack.

“We know as a family, we’d love to keep working together. My son, who recently attended his high school graduation, expressed on stage that he looks forward to taking over the family business. Who knows, maybe in 25 years’ time, he’ll be the next General Manager.”

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This article appears in the August 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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