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Zalatimo Sweets: Upholding tradition in a changing market

By : Nedal Zubeidi

Jordan Daily – A legacy of resilience, authenticity, and the pursuit of excellence has been unfolding for over 160 years with Zalatimo Sweets. This family-owned business, renowned for its delectable treats, began its journey in 1860 and has since become a testament to the sweet taste of success.

Originally established in Jerusalem, Zalatimo Sweets made a strategic move to Jordan in 1986. As Mr. Abdallah Zalatimo, the Chairman of Zalatimo Sweets, puts it, “The main reason for our move to Jordan was basically to be able to expand our business.”

The political situation in Jerusalem was limiting, and the family saw an opportunity for expansion in Jordan. The move proved fruitful, allowing the business to grow and flourish in ways they had only dreamed of.

Starting with a single branch in Abdali, Zalatimo Sweets quickly expanded throughout Amman, opening branches in locations such as the Qasr Amra Hotel (Crowne Plaza). The success didn’t stop at Jordan’s borders. Branches were soon established in Gulf cities like Manama, Kuwait, Doha, and later, Dubai. Today, Zalatimo Sweets boasts four branches outside of Jordan, eight within, and another soon to open near the airport hotel and Abdali Boulevard.

Despite their growth, Zalatimo Sweets has remained committed to maintaining the authenticity and quality of their products. They have stayed true to their original recipes, sourcing their ingredients from top suppliers worldwide. “We always wanted to make sure that we had to maintain the original recipes, we had to have the original ingredients,” Mr. Zalatimo explains . Pistachios from Turkey, butter from Holland, sugar from England, and flour from Italy all contribute to the high-quality products that Zalatimo Sweets is known for.

The journey hasn’t been without its challenges. Dealing with bureaucratic governments and navigating the volatile political landscape of the Middle East have been significant hurdles. As the chairman states, “Governments are always very difficult to deal with. They’re very bureaucratic. And they’re not business oriented.” The current political situation has caused delays in shipments to their number one export markets, the United States and Canada. Despite these challenges, Zalatimo Sweets has persevered, continuing to deliver their beloved products to customers worldwide.

Over the years, Zalatimo Sweets has adapted to changing customer preferences. While their products were once heavier and sweeter, they now offer lighter, less sweet options, including sugar-free and no sugar-added products. They’ve also expanded their product range to include cakes and pastries, responding to growing demand and diversifying their offerings. As Mr. Zalatimo reflects, “We’ve had to make these adjustments in terms of offering lighter products, products with less sugar. We’ve had to offer more, a wider variety of products where we’re offering cakes.”

Zalatimo Sweets understands that a high-quality product must be matched with high-quality service. They invest in training their staff, rewarding good behavior and excellence in customer service. As Mr. Zalatimo emphasizes, “Having a welcoming staff member to meet you and greet you. Also, having the packaging that suits you, that suits the customer.” Their stores are always clean, well-lit, and welcoming, providing a soothing and comforting environment for customers to enjoy their sweets.

From its humble beginnings in Jerusalem to its expansion across the Middle East, Zalatimo Sweets has remained committed to its mission of delivering authentic, high-quality sweets. As Mr. Abdallah Zalatimo, the Chairman of Zalatimo Sweets, reflects on their journey, it’s clear that their legacy is one of resilience, authenticity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Despite the challenges they’ve faced, Zalatimo Sweets continues to sweeten the world, one treat at a time.

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