Quebec's Salamina marks 40 years in business
Laval, Que. – Salamina is celebrating 40 years in business in the Canadian restaurant industry. The Laval, Que.-based company, which supplies meat toppings, is focused on steady growth and the manufacture of quality products.
The company was founded by Sotiris Antypas in downtown Montreal on May 13, 1977. In the early years, pepperoni was the focus, but later on the company branched out into Italian and Greek sauces, a full line of pizza toppings that includes bacon, ham and sausage, as well as porchetta and capicolla.
They make fully cooked meat products, cooked and raw sausages, as well as a select line of deli meats both for the retail and the foodservice industries.
Giovanni Frassetti joined as a director and partner in 1997.
In 2005, the company moved to a modernized location in Laval. ""We needed a more modern facility to meet customer demand and match the company's growth, said Bruno Garofalo, sales director, who has been with Salamina since 2013. The new facility, which is three times the size of the original, can accommodate the larger volumes they expect.
The entire plant is gluten-free, MSG-free, lactose-free, nut-free, and peanut-free, Garofalo said. The goal is to keep up with Health Canada's ever-changing list of known allergens.
The trend is to have as clean a label as possible, he adds. For the company, that means eliminating allergens and using ingredients that are as natural as possible.
The two have seen many changes in the Canadian pizza landscape over the years. They agree the focus should be on quality. Garofalo says, "There is still a lot of good volume and the industry is growing." The pizza industry should be increasing the quality of its ingredients to keep the bar high and give themselves a point of differentiation.
The company has a focus on Quebec and eastern Ontario and is looking to expand business in Ontario and, in time, in the west. They do some business in Calgary already and will look to supply Vancouver and the rest of western Canada as well.
"Growth is great but measured and timely growth is best," Garofalo said. The main goal, added Antypas, is to give a good product of high quality.
As for the day-to-day work, a love of the business keeps them happy. "I still feel young when I work. I still love what I'm doing," Antypas said.
Garofalo agreed. "We enjoy what we do: we work well, we play well. And we put positive pressure on ourselves to be the best we can."
"We want to thank all our customers for supporting and believing in our ability to supply good product," he said.
When pressed, they mentioned one longtime client who has been with them since 1977: Tasty Food on Décarie Boulevard in Montreal. "They've been with us from the beginning," Garofalo said.
Canadian Pizza wishes to clarify that Salamina of Laval, Que., a federal plant and HACCP-certified manufacturer of meat toppings, is currently working toward GFSI certification. The company is not yet GFSI-certified, as was earlier reported.
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