Alaior, Minorca. A soft breeze blows through its narrow streets,
white walls and large green windows. 75 years ago, a young artisan
called Fernando Sintes gave birth to the most important ice cream tradition in Spain. That is La Menorquina’s origin
Destiny itself was to boost the dreams of the young businessman by handing
him a winning lottery number that allowed him to pay for a small factory,
which allowed him to increase his production and storage capacity.
Until then, the youngest employees were those in charge of taking
the ice creams to clients by riding their bicycles. That was when the company
purchased an old vehicle with a trailer
to distribute ice creams all around the island.
In the post-war years, inspired by the vision of taking ice creams and cakes to all the restaurants on the islands, the businessman Fernando Sintes founded La Estrella, which five years later became known as La Menorquina. To solve the lack of basic products, Sintes put his inventiveness to the test, up to the point where he brought suitcases full of sugar to the island His creativity and willpower became the company's philosophy.
While Sintes increased into his confectionary knowledge by going on
courses to perfect his technique in Madrid Confectionary School and in the
Professional School of Confectionary and Ice Creams in Sant Cugat del Vallès,
the company took its first steps in the world of corporate
partnerships by, reaching collaboration agreements with companies in
Barcelona. In 1956, he acquired the Mahon-based chocolate company
La Tropical de Mahón, founded in 1883 and in which Sintes had worked as a baking apprentice.
The ice cream is still considered as a luxurious product. However, the
strong development of tourism and restaurants, combined with
greater access to refrigerators, helped La Menorquina to gain presence
in restaurants on the islands.
The arrival of new market competitors pushed La Menorquina to evolve.
For that reason, it decided to buy part of the Barcelona-based company
Helados Marisa and later merged with the multinational company
Beatrice Foods This way, it managed to face new challenged, modernising
the company without losing control of its management,
customer-service philosophy nor the way of working that would make
it a national leader in the catering industry.
A new and unexpected event once again tested the company's
resistance: a fire in the refrigeration warehouse. It was a hard blow that
in no way affected Sintes' enthusiasm. He made the most of the
opportunity and built a new and more modern factory that was
inaugurated in 1980. Such was the trust that banks
had in him that the new facilities were built
with their unconditional support.
The company carried out a quick expansion throughout the Iberian Peninsula.
This was also the decade of frozen fruits, which
were a huge innovation in the industry. Sintes was inspired by the great
French chefs, who served this dessert on special occasions, and he
adapted it to the taste of the national market. The most forward-thinking
Spanish caterers immediately took to it and made it one of the brand's icons.
Even the houses of the Spanish Prime Minister and the Spanish Royal Family are loyal clients of this dessert.
The company began its internationalisation by exporting its products
to no fewer than 27 countries After Sintes' retirement at the end
of this decade, another great businessman, Mr. Delfín Suárez (owner of
the company Kalise from the Canary Islands) bought the entire shares of La Menorquina.
La Menorquina was once again a family-owned company, now as part
of the new Grupo Kalise Menorquina, S.A. starting a long period of growth and consolidation.
But things were not always easy. After the serious economic crisis which
started in 2008, the company had to close numerous establishments and endure a
drop in sales. As a response to this situation,
La Menorquina decided to distinguish itself even more from its
competitors by strengthening their range of high-value
solutions and committing itself even more to offering the highest quality.
Currently, La Menorquina is still a reference of authentic and natural
desserts on restaurant menus all over the world. As specialists, we are convinced that
the catering industry is a key piece in the development of local
economies. They create jobs and increase tourist attraction among other social benefits.
La Menorquina maintains the legacy of that young and fearless baker known as "El Mestre", who knew that passion for a job well done, respect for tradition and daring to innovate were essential qualities.
That was the origin of flavour