Interview with Mr. Ilie Neamu, Deta, 2021
Since when do you make pastries and what is the first successful product you have had and what related activities have you had before and which led to your current activity?
Our activity in the field already has a history, but the company we work for now is established in 2017. SC FAN RIN RRS is present on the market with pastries after a long time, it was mainly engaged in the production of bakery and trade. The idea to make pretzels, which was also our first pastry product, was born from the desire to bring to the table as many customers as possible an extraordinary product, simple, good, for any occasion, which at the beginning we produced only for friends.
As their opinion exceeded expectations, he encouraged us to produce them on a larger scale. After the success of the pretzels, we thought of creating a range of traditional pastries and so we started to produce homemade bar and jam croissants.
What is the context related to pastries in Deta, is there a history in the area and how has it influenced you?
Oltenians being, settled in Banat, we wanted to make known here the taste of the croissants made by my mother at home when we were children. Hence, the traditional recipe that we inherited from the heart of Oltenia and that we still respect, which made our products have no competition here.
Did the purchase of the old mill in Deta as a production space have a special motivation for you? When did it take place and why?
The “burned mill” as it is still referred to in the documents, became our bakery in 1996 by purchase. This space has a history of over 100 years. I think it was predestined that in this place, out of the skilled hands of those who worked and work here, only goodies (first mill, then bakery, and now traditional pastry).
When did you build the “De la Neamu” brand, and why did you consider it necessary?
Without realizing it, our pastries were noticed more and more on the market, the demand was more and more and it was time to take them out of anonymity and make them known. This is how our brand was born. They were no longer just pastries, but pastries “from Neamu”. The fact that it bears our name, reveals our total involvement in the quality of the products, “we play on one card” can be said.
What new do your products bring in the current context, what products do you want to develop?
Our pastries were not distinguished by the novelty on the market as a product, but on the contrary, by preserving the tradition regarding the traditional recipes used. In addition to what we currently produce, we want our customers to enjoy other products as well: biscuit salami, bee cake, nougat or gingerbread. But, we go on: less and good than much and tasteless. We want to keep our good taste, quality and tradition of birthplaces in the context in which we will develop other products.
What is the distribution area of the products, how has it expanded over time, can you give us some clues? When did you first approach the foreign market and what products were successful?
At the beginning, we sold these products in Timiș County and in the vicinity. At present, we have managed to bring our products to all areas of the country through various distribution chains. Soon (approx. In 2018) we were contacted to sell on the foreign market, so our goods arrived for the first time in stores in Spain, after which they were requested on the market in Germany, England and Italy. All our products were successful, but the most sought after remained the traditional jam croissants.
Is it a family business, how many members are involved and what responsibilities do they have?
Although our family made its debut in the bread production business, the desire to sell besides bread and something else became more and more present in our discussions and we decided together that it was time to try to do something else. Having years of experience in the production of bread and other bakery products, I came up with the idea of making traditional pastries. Currently, all family members are involved in the business, doing everything necessary so that everything goes as smoothly as possible. We have not strictly established the responsibilities of each other, but when necessary, we all do what needs to be done.
How do you see the activity in the future, where will you see yourself in 10-20 years?
The future is uncertain, regardless of our will and effort, but what I can say for sure is that we will make every effort to keep the quality and taste of our products. Over 10, over 20 years, customers should enter the stores and find our products. “Look, there are still Neamu products on the market!”.