When I first stepped foot inside the new Flavour Makers Braeside factory on a rainy Melbourne morning, I was immediately hit with the tremendous sense of pride which seemed to be emanating from the walls of the barely three week old facility.
Barbara, Flavour Makers’ receptionist, was brimming from each to ear, and exuded an infectious sense of excitement as she explained the ‘big move’ which involved consolidating four manufacturing facilities under the one roof.
“We are still going through a teething process,” she said. “But we are all very excited.”
Despite construction workers still ironing out the ﬁner details, there is no way you could even attempt to steal the sunshine off any member of the Flavour Makers family.
Every employee I met has a genuine passion for the business, which still remains wholly Australian owned after its 20 years of operation.
Commercial manager, Jodie Hooker, said that it’s the fostering of strong relationships, both internally and externally, coupled with hard work that has made Flavour Makers what it is today.
“Integrity is one of the most important commodities,” she said.
Innovation and traditional values
As the name suggests, Flavour Makers do exactly that, they make ﬂavours, and they do it well. Flavour Makers targets the needs of the customer and creates concepts to match specified requirements.
According to Flavour Makers’ owner, Adrian Cester, the company was born out of an identified need for high quality prepared food. As customers became increasingly time poor, the demand for prepared foods rose, but the quality of products offered remained relatively low.
With family roots in the poultry industry, Cester started working for his brother’s business, John Cester Poultry, shortly after studying, and this is where he identified the increasing trend towards prepared foods.
With an Italian background, Cester has always valued high quality, home cooked meals and subsequently wanted to offer consumers something more than the stock standard readymade sauces and crumbed chicken that they were settling for.
Cester was frustrated by the low quality of prepared foods available on the market, and decided to channel his frustration into a business opportunity.
“Something was telling me to get into developing better food products,” he said.
Today, Flavour Makers hires chefs of world class standard to create the high quality flavour solutions that have become synonymous with the company’s name.
New facility, new ideas
The new Braeside facility showcases Flavour Makers’ wide range of production capabilities, and as such, has been built to world class standards boasting the latest technology sourced both locally and internationally.
The new facility is complete with a liquid plant, retail plant, culinary development centre (which consists of four test kitchens), sensory booths for independent taste testing, and a storage warehouse/packaging facility.
Everything apart from the dry blending facility, (which will remain separate for allergen reasons), is now located under the one roof.
One of the most impressive parts of the new facility is the boardroom which comes complete with its own state of the art kitchen that has been designed specifically for the final tastings of a client’s product.
The final tastings consist of a full meal created and served to the client by Flavour Makers’ chefs using the speciﬁed flavours that the client requested.
Another notable feature of the new facility is the yet to be completed vegetable and spice garden. Cester’s aim is to create a “sensory experience” which includes fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and spices at the entrance of the facility and continuing throughout the premises.
“My intention is to create a sensory experience. When you first arrive you will see recycled timbers and plants used on the building,” said Cester.
“People see us as a food science business, which we are, but at the root of what we do, is food. And we are passionate about that.”