Christmas with Foodpak – A time of Thanksgiving

2018-11-28 06:01
The late Mrs Pam Zammit, founder of FoodpakPHOTOs: supplied

The late Mrs Pam Zammit, founder of FoodpakPHOTOs: supplied

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CHRISTMAS is all about food, family, faith and friends and this year the Foodpak family fondly remember Pam Zammit, the founder of Foodpak, who died in March this year at the age of 72. Ryan Zammit, her son, who now heads up Foodpak, recalls how much his mother loved this time of the year at the shop.

“My mom got so excited when she saw people ‘buzzing’ around the shop looking for baking ingredients, decorations and gifts. She loved being involved and receiving compliments from customers — this was my mother’s greatest pride and joy.”

Zammit had been a stay-at-home mother for 17 years and raised her family with an incredible generosity, love and care. However, she started to think of opening a small business of some kind because the children were completing their schooling. “My mom was very keen to do something different, but without any experience or knowledge, it was really just a dream,” recalls Ryan. “But thanks to my dad, Reg, that dream became a reality in 1990.”

Without his wife’s knowledge, Reg found a small garage shop, filled it with Hulamin foil containers and placed a big sign: “Foodpak” outside the new premises. What a gift! Reg knew that Pam was up to the challenge, but she was apparently quite nervous.

“At the time, my mother felt completely overwhelmed and was terrified of failure,” said Ryan. However, every budding entrepreneur needs a good dose of faith and courage and Zammit received this from her daughter, Debbie, who said: “Mom, if you pour as much love and energy into your business as you do into your family, how can you possibly fail?” This is when Foodpak was truly born, as Zammit fully embraced the little business and took all the love, joy, faith and passion that she felt for her family and poured into her new “baby”, Foodpak.

“My mother had a wonderful, natural love for people and her suppliers, customers and even her competition became part of Foodpak’s family,” said Ryan. “Yes, she built her business on hard work and sound business acumen, but the core values were definitely love, loyalty and commitment. She was determined to not ever let her suppliers or customers down,” added Ryan who has seen first-hand how loyalty pays dividends in a tough industry.

Maritzburg customers watched Zammit grow and expand her business over the years from a couple of small garages in Victoria Road to its existing large retail and warehouse space at 157 Victoria Road. Her sister, Heather, became her new partner and her parents became her first employees.

The business was initially set up to mainly supply bulk packaging to local customers and while this is still a very large part of Foodpak’s business, Zammit’s passion for beautiful décor led to the expansion of the front shop.

Ryan joined the business in 2006 and after assessing the sales figures, helped to set the “mothership” on a new course with national packaging deals and the opening of a dedicated baking shop which was immediately well received amongst bakers in Pietermaritzburg. This year Ryan decided to implement his long-awaited vision to create four shops at Foodpak: The Celebration Shop, Catering Shop, Baking Shop and Packaging Shop. “The shop extension and revamp is really a tribute to my mother, because it is truly a reflection of everything she loved. But more than the styling and stock, I know my mother would have been delighted by the joy it has brought all her customers,” smiles Ryan.

Christmas is also a time of thanksgiving and this year the Zammit family would like to take the opportunity to thank all their staff, customers and suppliers for their friendship and loyalty over the years.

The family was deeply moved by the love and support they received at the death of Pam, fondly known as “Mama Foodpak”. Her love, sacrifice and devotion to her family, her staff, customers and suppliers is not only an inspiration, but an enduring legacy at Foodpak.

The Celebration Shop overflows with accessories for all festive occasions. A stunning selection of quality candles, serviettes, ribbons, gift bags and table décor is on offer at great prices. A gorgeous Balloon Bar and trendy Kid’s Party Section is a new highlight in the Celebration Shop.

The Baking Shop has been a popular addition to Foodpak for a number of years and has a reputation for not only offering quality, well-priced ingredients, but very friendly and helpful service. The new wing off this shop now includes a Baking Pantry, which features a Colour Wall and Chocolate Bar with a lovely new range of quality chocolate products including some wonderful sugar-free options.

The Packaging Pantry is part of Foodpak’s new extension and customers can find an extensive range of quality packets, containers, jars, bottles and bags on offer. Bulk buys are available, giving customers more affordable options.

The Catering Shop offers customers a huge variety of well-priced catering ranges from coffee cups to foil platters and just about everything you need for a social gathering. The Catering Shop also now stocks an amazing eco-friendly and completely bio-degradable takeaway product range. The household hygiene range is also part of this shop as well as the Hospitality Amenities Section.

• Glass bottles from R2

• Glass jars from R3.80

• Large Paper Gift Bags R3.50

• Brown packets from 15c

• Zip lock bags from 6c

• Vacuum Bags from 23c

• Plastic bottles from R2

• Plastic Juice bottle R1.70


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