The credit for the establishment of Mantelli’s Direct stores rests solely with our astute customers wanting premium Mantelli’s products at highly competitive pricing.
From 1991 until 2010, Mantelli’s Biscuit Factory supplied large supermarket chains with our retail range but the inefficiencies in these chains’ logistics systems, ridiculous swell allowances (additional “special” discounts they demand) and their unrealistic mark-ups meant that our products, once on retailers’ shelves, effectively doubled in price after leaving our factory - in short, a crazy state of affairs!
Our customers wanted Mantelli’s shortbread made only with butter and other well-crafted biscuits and cookies and were well-justified in not being prepared to pay the retailer end-pricing which was beyond the control of the Mantelli’s Biscuit Factory.
One by one, customers made the effort to drive to our factory to enquire whether they could buy direct and in 2011 a basic factory outlet was operating from our warehouse in Westlake selling our biscuits at “direct pricing.”
Customers were so pleased at being able to buy at between 35% to 40% lower than normal retail prices that they told their friends and family and the factory shop gathered momentum.
By 2013 we believed that there was no reason why a factory shop had to look like a factory shop and that it was possible to improve the customer experience without adding to the product prices and the Westlake factory shop was redesigned and renamed Mantelli’s Direct – Westlake.
In 2014, a customer and an ambitious mother of two young children approached Mantelli’s and explained that she wanted her own store and did exactly that when she opened the Mantelli’s Direct Claremont doors in July 2014.
It was her “get up and go” that has now resulted in eighteen privately-owned Mantelli’s Direct stores - fifteen in the Western Cape and one in Gauteng and two in KwaZulu Natal which provide customers with personal service and direct pricing on Mantelli’s and other selected manufacturers’ products. We have one new Mantelli’s Direct store opening soon in the Gauteng.