Our business was founded by the late Elia Borg Bonaci and his wife Rita on the 7th October 1953. They opened a confectionery and coffee shop in the main street of Hamrun with a small bakery in the basement floor. At the time they had 11 children, the youngest being only two months old. Elia was a perfectionist, and the business started flourishing immediately. Elia Café became the focal point for the local community, for the numerous visitors to this popular shopping district, as well as a convenient meeting point for people from all walks of life coming from other towns and villages. At the same time, the family engaged in outside catering, riding on its impeccable quality standards which became a hallmark for its products and services, in addition to its glowing reputation for its traditional confectionery products prepared under the same old recipes and processes. In 1964 the bakery was moved to Villambrosa Street in Hamrun, where it is still situated today. In 1979, five of Elia’s sons – Carmelo, Saviour, Elia Jr, Francis and Gaetano – formed a company called Elia Borg Bonaci Ltd. which took over the family business in January 1980. The sons embarked on an expansion programme which also saw the bakery modernised with new state of the art machinery and equipment.
The next big step was the acquisition of The Palms in 1994; our own exclusive venue in St Julians. At around the same time, the premises of Elia Café was enlarged again and fully refurbished and upgraded with more new equipment and facilities. Throughout these years the company’s business continued to grow, driven by a solid reputation of quality and reliability on the one hand and the introduction of additional new products on the other.
In early 2016 a new landmark was achieved in the history of our family business: the opening of our new twin venues, Giardini Lambrosa and Veranda, in the outskirts of Mdina. The contemporary architectural style and finishes endow the place with a unique atmosphere while the practical design and layout of the various indoor and outdoor amenities provide the right setting for any celebration or function.
The launch of the new venue coincided with the transition of the management of the family business to the third generation. The new management team is now mainly made up of young brothers, sisters and cousins who have been working in the business for a number of years under the direction of their fathers. Therefore the business is now driven by a young dynamic and creative team drawing on the huge wealth of experience and expertise of the founding fathers. This has resulted in a positive change in management style based on greater professionalism and organisation which are yielding greater efficiencies in the operations. At the same time the old values are being jealously guarded, namely:
- Our Customer Comes First!
- High Quality Standards on Products and Service: No compromise!
- Traditional but also Contemporary: we cherish our traditional heritage but we can also satisfy current tastes.
The direct involvement of family members in all aspect of the business, whether at the coffee shop, in the factory, or managing outside catering in Giardini Lambrosa or third party venues ensures that the same culture prevails across the whole organisation so that we can guarantee full satisfaction to all our diverse customers.
The new management is committed to sustain the solid reputation enjoyed by the Elia family business over the past 60 years by adapting to the rapid changes in the market.
Traditional yet contemporary
Elia Borg Bonaci Ltd. is still very much a family business today. There is always one of the family members at functions catered by Elia Caterers. Our many years of experience make us a traditional caterer very much embroiled in Maltese culinary history and of this we are proud. Although we are constantly upgrading and modernising, we see great value in promoting traditional Maltese customs and strive to continue producing traditional seasonal creations such as Qaghaq tal-Qastanija, Sinizza and Xkunvat, amongst many others.
Besides our commitment to continue producing these well known traditional Maltese creations, we continuously strive to upgrade our infrastructure by investing in modern catering equipment. We guarantee end product quality by choosing the freshest local ingredients which we then process using contemporary methods which we regularly update from time to time. Although we pride ourselves that our human resources include numerous family members, we also employ seasoned professionals to help make Elia Caterers what it is today. We also understand the need to use modern tools to reach our audience and to this end we employ a professional marketing team.
A visit to our flagship venue "Giardini Lambrosa" is evidence in itself of how far Elia Caterers embrace change and the contemporary. Besides the clean modern interior and exterior design of this recently launched venue, it is also equipped with a modern kitchen that includes state of the art catering equipment.