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NTD INGREDIENTES making sweet deals

Published:Friday | August 23, 2019 | 12:12 AMPaul H. Williams/Gleaner Writer
Natalee Scarlette, sales executive, puts the finishing touches on mousse cakes made by NTD Ingredientes.
Natalee Scarlette, sales executive, puts the finishing touches on mousse cakes made by NTD Ingredientes.

Everybody, not just the sweet-toothed loves pastries, even the weight-watcher. These baked sweet things are as irresistible as irresistible gets, making them a gastronomic must-have.

Yet they are not so easy to make, and not everybody can make them to perfection. Many factors are in the mix – the types and quantity of the ingredients, temperature, their duration in the oven, texture, moisture level, and, of course, appearance.

The types and quantity of the ingredients are major factors. They might have to be peeled, cut, diced, grated, measured, sifted, strained, whipped, tossed, soaked, or mixed, which can take much time and energy. In short, it is a lot of work. However, one company that is making life easier for bakers and patissiers (pastrymakers) is NTD Ingredientes Jamaica Limited.

Located in the Blaise Industrial Complex along Constant Spring Road in St Andrew, and operating under the tagline, ‘We provide bakery and pastry solutions’, NTD Ingredientes is a major supplier of bread and pastry bases and mixes, some gluten-free. Its core function is to provide value-added baking products, pastry, and baking ingredients for the food services industry.

In addition, it stocks chocolate couvertures, compounds and products; decorations; dried fruits; fillings, creams, icings and syrups; flavours and extracts; food colourings; frozen products; fruit bits; fruit fillings and toppings; glazes and gelatins; margarines; and tartlets. In each category, there are prestigious international brands.

But NTD is not satisfied with just supplying ingredients and decorations. A major aprt of its marketing strategy is to give in-house demonstrations of what can be done with its ingredients. The two in-house pastry chefs bake a variety of pastries, and stakeholders are invited to go see what they can do with the premixed natural ingredients, etc., that they supply.

Recently, The Gleaner visited one such demonstration and spoke with Anthony Cooke, the general manager at the Kingston office/warehouse since May 2016. The company’s headquarters are in the Dominican Republic, with offices and warehouses also in Mexico. The company has been operating in Jamaica since 1999.

Essentially according to Cooke, the products that NTD supplies, eliminate the ‘starting-from-stratch’ stage of the baking and pastry-making processes. As it relates to the in-house demonstrations, he told The Gleaner, “This is what keeps us ahead of the competition, and separates us from the competition.”

The demonstrations are not confined to in-house ones. The chefs do demonstrations for prospective clients in their own space. “Based on what you are offering to your customers, we will demonstrate use of our ingredients to better serve your customers,” Cooke explained.

He said that NTD offers training to its clients and their staff if they are having challenges using their products. Clients are shown how to utilise the products more efficiently. He said, “We are not in the business of selling products, we are in the business of selling services.”

Regarding the cost-effectiveness of this approach, Cooke said, in the short term, it looks costly, but in the long term, it is cost-effective. It is all about spending money to make more money, he said. And the approach seems to be working as NTD has been cutting into its competitors’ market shares. Their clients include major north coast hotels, catering companies and supermarket chains.

At the end of the demonstration that The Gleaner attended, there was a variety of pastries on show, plus some of the ingredients themselves. The pastries were really eye-catching and tantalising, and by the end of the session, there was hardly a crumb left.