The Neriku Catering story is one of family legacy with humble beginnings. Now run by the third generation of the Zammit family – Joseph, Karl and Anne Marie – the company enjoys an excellent reputation as one of Malta’s premier catering companies, and there’s no intention to stop there.

“Our grandfather, Neriku, founded the company in 1969 with a clear focus: providing for his family, creating affordable products, and prioritising quality,” Joseph affirms, explaining how it all began with a small fish and chips shop that also offered pastries and frozen goods, like ravioli. “Over time, he built a loyal customer base and began distributing his products to other shops, not just his own. This was a pivotal point, where he demonstrated his adaptability to the market.”

Neriku Caterers

This would characterise a recurring theme for the company, which continues to champion innovation and adaptability against the backdrop of a rapidly changing market. “We were among the first in Malta to invest in a commercial ravioli machine to speed up production, increase volume and set up a system to distribute frozen goods throughout the island,” says Anne Marie, adding, “each decade brought unique challenges and opportunities, and we’ve always strived to keep our products both exceptional and within reach for everyday people.”

Expanding further on how Neriku has thrived in a constantly changing market, she continues, “we recognise trends early on and proactively adapt. We also maintain excellent client relationships. When it comes to both outside catering and our contract work through our catering brand The Big Kitchen (TBK), understanding what the client wants and delivering that consistently is paramount.”

Tracing Neriku’s major milestones over the years, the Directors highlight the company’s transition into contract catering as particularly significant. “This allowed us to streamline our revenue, maintain a skilled workforce, and continue to grow. Our outside catering is popular for events, both traditional and more modern, but contract catering brings stability, which has been crucial for our success,” explains Joseph.

Joseph Zammit

Nodding in agreement, Anne Marie maintains, “our work with care homes, educational institutions, and the hospitality industry is a major point of pride. In care homes, we developed first-of-their-kind systems which keep the needs of our end clients – the residents – front of mind,” highlighting elements like visual menus and customised ordering systems make a huge difference to both residents and staff.

Anne Marie Temmink

And as the third generation settle into their leadership roles, the Directors remain steadfast in their goals for the company’s future.

“It’s a balancing act,” Anne Marie admits, explaining, “we’re always looking to refine our services and stay on top of modern food trends, but we’re also a family business built on customer focus. It’s vital these two aspects stay aligned.”

Karl Zammit

“Our employees are our greatest asset,” Joseph adds, noting that creating a strong, multicultural company culture where everyone feels valued and respected is a priority. “Low turnover is something we’ve worked hard on, and we’re proud of the success stories of employees who’ve risen through the ranks. Of course, HR, cost control, and maximising the efficiency of the expansion we’ve undertaken are key challenges moving forward.”

And that expansion he mentions? Opening a brand new warehouse, which is set to open its doors imminently. “It’s a logistical necessity, as our current space isn’t suited to our current scale and type of work. This will allow for optimised operations and even better cost control. We’re also looking at refurbishing our facility to further streamline the process,” smiles Anne Marie. It’s clear that tradition and innovation are both integral to Neriku’s story, and as the new generation gear up to write the next chapter, they’re adamant on building on what’s been written so far. “Our goal isn’t simply to be another caterer. Being distinctly Maltese matters. We have traditional roots, yes, but with a modern approach. And we’re incredibly proud of that.”

This interview forms part of the Companies to Watch in 2024, a business serialisation of, Malta’s fastest-growing, cutting-edge business news portal, aimed at companies achieving their goals, marking important milestones, or planning to announce major business news.

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