My nannu, Neriku, opened this business 50 years ago and we have never looked back. We slowed down a little from time to time, when economic downturns happened in the market and people’s pockets felt the pinch. But even then, changes came slowly. We could see them coming and we could prepare for them. This pandemic is different.
From a business perspective, the damage to many is unprecedented and the length of the disruption remains worryingly unknown. And so what I’m realising is how the lessons we have learnt along the way and our mission to have a strong, sustainable business are all coming into play.
From the very beginning, Neriku was a man who wasn’t afraid of getting out of his comfort zone. He was ambitious and wanted the best for his family. Seeing a niche in the market, he jumped in and set up shop selling battered fish (sfineg) and chips in Valletta. Seeing the positive reaction from clients, Neriku quickly adapted to the market and didn’t hesitate to expand the products and services he had on offer. As the business continued to grow, he invested in state-of-the-art machinery that allowed him to increase production, all while maintaining product consistency. With this vision and attention to quality, he earned a reputation and, most importantly, trust from our customers.
Up until last month, we were gearing up for our peak season. Preparing for weddings, corporate events and family celebrations. But unfortunately things didn’t go according to plan. We took a few days to observe the situation, obtain necessary information and we then jumped into action. We started operating at our manufacturing site, on skeleton staff, giving people the room they need to keep a healthy distance. At one of the retirement homes we cater for, our wonderful staff went above and beyond the call of duty, by moving into the residency to minimise contact with the outside world. Having a solid relationship with our employees’ have made these transitions easier. We are very grateful for their efforts and courage during these times. They are what make this company special.
What we know is that we are embodying Neriku’s fearlessness in those early days. We are listening to our clients’ needs and adapting quickly to the new market. We are also doing our best to help all of our clients who unfortunately had to postpone or cancel their weddings and events. Their trust and loyalty throughout the years is what has brought us here and this is what we want to keep on building on.
When this crisis passes, as it eventually will, the world will be very different to the one we are used to. I am hopeful that Neriku Catering can emerge stronger than ever, as a more sustainable company. Furthermore, I also hope that we humanity will emerge as a kinder, more resilient one.
Author: Joseph Zammit, General Manager
Editor: Cassi Camilleri