Sibenik Company Cantabile Strengthens Business Despite Coronavirus Crisis

By 30 March 2021
Sibenik, Croatia
Sibenik, Croatia Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

March the 30th, 2021 - The Sibenik company Cantabile is going from strength to strength despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis thanks to the Sibenik business zone - Podi.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Dalmatian city of Sibenik's Podi business zone, despite the coronavirus crisis, is doing well to manage to maintain the economic activity of its enterprises, and news of new investments is coming in almost on a monthly basis.

One of those enterprises is the Sibenik company Cantabile, which purchased 5,853 square metres of land within the business zone, with plans to build its new and unified plant for the production of confectionery products there.

As Ante Gulin, the owner and director of the Sibenik company Cantabile revealed, this company was established a decade ago and initially, through its exclusive catering brand Moderato Coffee & Cakes, was engaged in the production of sweets, but for the last four or five years their main sales channel has been HoReCa for clients from Istria to Dubrovnik, and recently they've been present here in Zagreb with their range.

"We realised that we needed to standardise our production because only that can guarantee quality and recognition out there on the market. We're currently present at three production sites in Sibenik, which we now want to combine with a new production facility into one.

If you work only for yourself, then we're talking about relatively small quantities, but when you add the exceptional seasonality that is a reality in Sibenik and along the entire Adriatic coast, then it's clear that you're in trouble with that attitude, both because of the quantities and because of the workforce as things run seasonally and you have to make great efforts to be able to get your hands on quality employees every year,'' said Gulin when discussing the reasons as to why this company decided to step out more strongly into the wholesale market.

Currently, 20 percent of the Sibenik company Cantabile's sales are accounted for by their own capacities, and 80 percent by HoReCa, with a tendency for further growth.

"We have a quality product based on quality, Croatian raw materials - lavender, cherries, olives, carob, etc, all of which the market recognises and seeks. Now, with a small capacity and dislocated production, we aren't able to complete the entire system of procurement and control of those local raw materials, but with this investment, we'll manage to achieve this,'' explained Gulin.

The new plant in Sibenik should be operational by the end of this year, and construction work in Podi is expected to begin soon. As the owner of the Sibenik company Cantabile explained, the value of the construction works stands at around five million kuna, and with the equipping of the plant with machines and equipment, this investment will rise to 12 to 14 million kuna.

The new plant should employ about 50 new people, but their specific number, which could be even higher, will still depend on the state of the market, the tourist season, and especially on the situation regarding the coronavirus crisis and the state of the economy and society as a whole.

The planned area of ​​the Sibenik business zone is 550 hectares, and so far 130 hectares have been built, while about 100 hectares are currently available for construction. There are currently about 50 enterprises operating within the zone, who employed 1,350 workers at the end of last year. This figure sadly at the beginning of 2021 due to the continuing pandemic.

However, as Jakov Terzanovic, the director of Podi pointed out, the number of employees from last year should soon return with new investments, and by the end of the year they will surpass those old numbers. There are currently 10 active contracts with various enterprises who will likely build their respective plants within this zone this year, and most of them will start doing business there too.

At the beginning of the year, it was announced that the plot of 70 thousand square metres was snapped up by the largest Croatian retailer of sanitary equipment, Feroterm, and the other, covering 11 thousand square metres, was purchased by SeaTech. Feroterm plans to build a large logistics centre for the whole of Dalmatia in Podi, and the German investor SeaTech would build a factory in Sibenik for the production of ship rescue and service equipment.

In addition to the Sibenik company Cantabile, the land in Podi has been bought by a company named Rock, which comes from the construction sector, and on a plot of 7977 square metres, it intends to build a hall for the production of building elements with storage and office space. Terzanovic also announced that a new tender for the sale of a plot of 5,682 square metres is currently being prepared.

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