Please note: Images in this article were taken before current COVID-19 safety measures were in place.
Some of the best business ideas are built on age-old family traditions.
Take Alba Cheese, a Tullamarine business established by the Bongiorno family in 1982 that turns over $6 million in exports and is renowned for selling fresh, hot ricotta at its factory shopfront.
The company’s cheese-making techniques have been used by four generations of the Bongiorno family, initially at a dairy farm in the Sicilian valley town of Sortino in Italy’s south.
And now – thanks to the Local Industry Fund for Transition initiative that supports communities such as those in Melbourne’s north that have been affected by car manufacturing closure – Alba Cheese is tasting even greater success. It has purchased new machinery to lift daily milk production from 70,000 to 160,000 litres and boost its output of cheese, primarily mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan.
“We’ve had to change to keep up with increased demand and changing tastes,” says operation manager David Bongiorno. “Shredded products have become very popular and there’s also a big push for low fat.”
“We see massive growth for dairy products in Asia for at least the next 20 years as demand for western food is growing – Asia is our main market.”
What advice does David have for other Victorian family businesses on how to achieve long-term success? “Come up with a business plan that everyone is happy with, and then stick to it,” he says. “Also, have clear roles for everyone, always be open to change, and keep improving.”
Watch the video to hear more from the Bongiorno family.