About Elia Caterers

From humble beginnings to one of Malta’s most renowned catering establishments, Elia Caterers was founded by the late Elia Borg Bonaci and his wife Rita on the 7th of October 1953.

Elia Borg Bonaci

The Founding Years

The journey began with the opening of a confectionary and coffee shop in what is still one of the busiest road in Hamrun (which also housed a small bakery in the basement). Known for being a perfectionist, Elia’s many years of service in the catering industry had instilled a passion to offer quality, artisanal produce to his clients. Joined by his wife and young family of 11 children at the time, this was not an easy task to undertake. However, this determination and energy was rewarded relatively quickly as the business took off and started flourishing almost immediately.

Elia Café soon became one of the most renowned places for the local community as well as visitors from neighbouring towns and villages to meet up and indulge in good food and pastries. All products were and still are to this day in keeping with the same recipes and practices laid out by the founder himself.

The reputation built at this time helped steer the company towards its next phase of growth when the family started offering in house and outside catering for weddings and other private events. Thanks to this growth in business, 1964 saw the bakery move to Villambrosa street in Hamrun where the main offices and production facilities are still operating to this today.

In 1979 the time had come for five of Elia’s sons to takeover the day to day running of the business. Carmelo, Saviour, Elia Jr, Francis, and Gaetano had from a very young age been helping their father around the bakery before and after school, thanks to which they were able to take the company to the next phase with a hands-on approach.

Expansion and Vision

This move to the second generation of the family lead to the formation of the company Elia Borg Bonaci Ltd in 1980. With an extensive expansion programme put in place, the next major stride forward was the modernisation of operations which included the addition of new state of the art machinery and equipment to assist with the rapid growth of the company.

With the continued support from clients and the growing demand in the weddings side of the business, the next large investment was made in 1994 with the acquisition of “The Palms”, the company’s own exclusive venue in St. Julian’s.

Around the same time, the opportunity arose to expand the premises which houses Elia Café. This in turn lead to a full refurbishment and upgrade of the facilities and equipment at our flagship store allowing the company to better serve clients as well as grow the range of products on offer.

This continued growth was driven by the solid reputation built on the quality of our products and reliability of service. It did not take too long for the next major investment to be made, which, in 2016, saw the launch of our twin venues Giardini Lambrosa and Veranda on 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 being held.

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 several years under the direction of their fathers.

Giardini Lambrosa
waitress serving food at an event

Traditional yet Contemporary

Elia Borg Bonaci Ltd. is still very much a family business with pride of work taking centre stage at any function catered by Elia Caterers where it is customary to still have one of the family members in attendance to ensure our guests are left satisfied. The many years of experience makes the company a traditional caterer very much embroiled in Maltese culinary history. Although constantly upgrading and modernising, the family and all the team at Elia Caterers 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 this commitment to continue producing these well-known traditional Maltese creations, the company continuously strives to upgrade its infrastructure by investing in modern catering equipment. One of the primary goals that the company bases itself on is product quality which is always a top priority. This was achieved by choosing the freshest local ingredients which are then processed using contemporary methods with regular updates and scrutiny from the chefs and staff.

Although the company prides itself in having numerous family members on its team; Elia Borg Bonaci also employ seasoned professionals in various fields to help make the company stand out from the rest.

Looking to the Future

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 aspects 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 70 years by adapting to the rapid changes in the market. One of the first major milestones since the transition to the next generation of family members is the addition of the company’s third exclusive venue Villa Overhills situated on the outskirts of Birżebbuġa. This venue is set to open in 2024 after an extensive refurbishment project backed by a substantial investment by the family.