Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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An appetite for flatbread

A man holding bagels.

In a small market like the Atlantic Canada, businesses require aggressive strategies to become successful exporters.

Since 1989, constant innovation has helped one Moncton, New Brunswick company bake up a strategy for success.

Fancy Pokket Corporation is a ‘Grade A’ BRC Certified facility which offers a line of kosher and halal-certified bakery products, found in major retail stores, restaurant chains and food service distributors throughout Canada.

The company has grown from a 1,000 square foot bakery with three employees in 1989 to a state-of-the-art, 45,000 square foot facility today, which produces an ever-increasing menu of Lebanese pita breads, bagels, tortillas, flatbread, pizza crust and Lavash - a soft, thin type of flatbread.

Mike Timani, president and CEO, immigrated to Ontario from Lebanon in 1976, and moved to New Brunswick a few years later.

Why Moncton?

“I wanted to start my own business and Moncton, the hub of the Maritimes, seemed like a great fit,” says Mike.

While the company has experienced several periods of growth over the years, diversifying into new and interesting food products remains an essential business practice.

Fancy Pokket Corporation will be opening a 58,000 square foot gluten-free facility in Lancaster, South Carolina, which will be in operation in May 2015.

“The main reason for coming to the decision to open a facility in the USA was to allow us to gain entry in the American market with our Canadian product line. We expect that with these export revenues, our sales will double in the next three years.”

The product line manufactured in South Carolina will include traditional sliced bread, hot dog and hamburger buns, brownies, cookies, rolls, banana bread, lemon/poppy seed loaves and baguettes, among other delicious baked goods. Products manufactured at the US facility will be transported to Moncton for Atlantic Canadians to enjoy.

“Nutritious, gluten-free alternatives to wheat-based goods are in high demand these days,” Mike explains. “This food-conscious market segment is large and I think it will continue to grow in the future.”

ACOA has contributed to Fancy Pokket’s steady growth since the company’s inception.

“Having an organization such as ACOA providing assistance makes a huge difference. First of all, it helps to make banks more comfortable because ACOA is on hand, but it also allows me to grow my business and generate more employment in our area.”

Through the highs and lows of business, one thing is certain: careful investment in innovation with an eye on the future is a well-timed recipe for growth.

Published March 2, 2015