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Grupo Bril and Lácteos Palma: twenty years of growing with their clients

Grupo Bril and Lácteos Palma: twenty years of growing with their clients

Joan Bril © ffmag

In 2001, Joan Bril and his business partner founded a celebrated company that imported meat and gourmet products to Mallorca. The original objective was to bring the finest Italian produce to the island; Bril was extremely familiar with these goods because, since 1988, he had worked with the then sole distributor of typical Italian products and he had a small factory that made fresh pasta for restaurants across the island. 

However, in recent years, Lácteos Palma, which initially focused on importing Italian food, has worked hard to significantly expand its catalogue. It has branched out to include high quality meat, a fish and crustacean line, smoked produce, frozen fruit and purées, and even Asian products. As Bril explains: “We were looking for a way to expand the company that would let us make the lives of cooking professionals easier. We move with the times, and the world of cooking has developed fast over the past decade, so we’ve searched for and incorporated products that provide solutions to the demands of our clients.”


You started out importing Italian products and now also import Asian products, isn’t that rather odd?
Not at all. Different types of cuisine are fusing these days. The world communicates continuously, it’s all extremely globalised. Think of social media, the information world, the aeroplane that takes you to the other side of the planet in just hours... It’s exactly the same with cooking. People who have a high professional level want international products. We’re growing because they’re growing, because we’ve become their partners and meet their needs.

La Burratina. Grupo Bril. Mallorca

La Burratina © Grupo Bril

So, you’re mostly focused on Italian and Asian products?
As I explained, we’re growing thanks to our clients, because they’re the ones who request a product and we then source it. These days we’ve really expanded our portfolio so each week we have a platform in Barcelona that receives goods from different countries such as France, Holland, Poland, Italy, Germany, etc. and they’re sent to Palma daily.

It can’t be easy juggling such a large catalogue with lots of products that have very short shelf lives...
It’s pretty complicated. We have 3,000 products and at least 10% of them don’t last longer than a fortnight. You have to make sure the client doesn’t miss anything, but you also don’t want things to expire. Imagine we’ve got 1,500 active clients, three hundred daily orders, prepared from one day to the next.

So, you need really good facilities...
We have 2,400 m2 facilities in the Son Oms industrial estate with a capacity for 120 frozen pallets and 160 refrigerated pallets, a 180-metre climate-controlled preparation room and our own freezing tunnel.  We’ve also got an independent room with an Industrial Health Record for cutting and grating cheese, with automatic inert gas vacuum packing to guarantee the life of products in the best possible conditions for 25 days at 4˚, for any shape or cut that the client requires. Finally, we have a human team of 50 employees; six work the night shift so that orders are ready first thing in the morning to be delivered to any point on the island from Monday to Saturday.

Lácteos Palma

Lácteos Palma © Grupo Bril

What do you think matters most when creating a company?
Passion for the job, constancy, discipline, hard work and dedication. I’m also lucky to have my two children in the company. Laura works in admin and Jaime in sales. They’ve both worked in all the different areas of the company: warehouse, delivery, invoicing, sales, accounting... Like any other employee. That’s the best school. 

What new projects are you working on, because it seems like you don’t know how to sit still...?

Our priority is using our service to take care of our customers, resolving their problems and making their lives easier, that’s why we’ve developed an easy-to-use app that clients can use to place orders that will arrive the following day. Also, during the pandemic, we opened a shop opposite the Mercat de l’Olivar that’s like a shop window for the company where we do presentations and hold new product tastings. We’re also improving the website and have set up an online store.

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