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Written by Jessica Larivée
April 24, 2018

Mantab : Canada’s trusted importer of premium quality food products

Founded in 1952, Mantab is a food manufacturer and importer that spent years perfecting the business of canned and packaged goods. With the help of Platon Gavrielatos, the company’s CEO, and his tight knit team, what was once a business with little direction and no established brand is now one of the largest food importers in Canada.

Palm hearts, Diced Clementines, Crushed tomatoes, Black Olives, Hearts of artichokes, Green Olives, Roasted Red Peppers,

Using long-term experience, innovation, personalized service, and transparency, Mantab has become the preferred point of reference in the retail, food service, and industrial sector for premium quality products imported from around the world.

Tricia Ryan, Platon Gavrielatos (CEO), Manon Picard (VP Sales)

A WELL SEASONED ENTREPRENEUR

After having dropped out of school at the age of sixteen, Platon Gavrielatos was quickly introduced to the foodservice industry by his father, who had a company that delivered fresh and frozen produce, much like Hector Larivée. Unimpressed by the idea of having to wake up at 3am to make it to the market every morning, Platon came up with his own business idea. He used the $3000 he had saved to buy a truck with a reefer and began selling frozen fries at the market. Within six months, he was selling 16,000 cases of french fries a week. He quickly ventured into frozen vegetables and fruits, changing the name of his company to Alasko, which he eventually sold in 2010.

Platon Gavrielatos, CEO of Mantab

In the early 2000s there was an extremely limited skew of frozen fruits and vegetables on the retail market and Gavrielatos saw this as another business opportunity. He started the company Europe’s Best, the first company to bring frozen produce into the retail market in an attractive way. Within the first year, the company held 58% of the market share in Canada. However, he would also end up selling this company, but not before buying Mantab, which was previously owned by the Saputo family. Although Mantab was a well established business, Gavrielatos saw opportunity for improvement. He used his life long experience in building companies and his trusted team, which he considers family, to build a brand for the company. Since then Mantab has implemented traceability of their products, consistency in their offering, and a level of credibility that surpasses that of its competitors.

Frozen Raspberries

Today, Mantab specializes in the importation of three main food segments: frozen fruits and vegetables, dried goods, and Greek olive oil and olives. They have 450 product skews, around 100 frozen and 350 dry, and their most popular products include mayonnaise, minced garlic in oil, corn starch, capers, and lemon seasoning. On top of being an importer and manufacturer, Mantab also does private labeling, both for distributors and retail.

Chopped Olives

They are committed to food safety and transparent business practices as demonstrated by their GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) certification as well as their ongoing process to obtain a HACCP certification, which will make them the only company in the business of canned foods with this level of certification.

Mantab warehouse

MANTAB AND HECTOR LARIVEE

Being a long time veteran of the foodservice industry, Platon had been working with Hector Larivée for quite some time throughout his various ventures. However, it wasn’t until he purchased Mantab in 2010 that the two companies began to build the close partnership they maintain to this day. Platon Gavrielatos considered Hector Larivée a loyal distributor and by far the best, most professional in what they do in the province of Québec.

With a market that has seen drastic changes in the past 20 years, finding partners who share the same values and level of integrity as your own is not an easy feat: “You have to work hard, provide great service, and you have to be exigent. In order to do this, you need solid partners to work alongside you,” states Manon Picard, vice president of sales at Mantab. With Hector’s honest reputation and their relationship with coveted restaurants throughout Canada, there was no better fit for Mantab than Hector Larivée. “They are in a league of their own. We consider them one of our best partners!”, exclaims Gavrielatos.