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YZ Enterprises/Almondina

American Made Since 1989

Frank Gelman

Maumee, Ohio
Almondina® The Delicious Cookie Without the Guilt, all-natural, crispy almond cookie has no cholesterol and no added fat, salt, or preservatives.
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Tell us about your business.

A Grandmother's secret recipe, Almondina® is the inspiring success story of a man whose great loves include both music & wonderful food. For generations his family loved his grandmother Dina's most secret cookie, which she called Petit Gateau Sec. Yuval Zaliouk, an internationally known symphony conductor and gourmet chef, always had a special place in his heart (and stomach) for this exquisite, crunchy wafer with the delicate flavor of roasted almonds, the natural sweetness of plump raisins and the warmth of vanilla. Within seven years, having started baking in his kitchen, the biscuits (renamed Almondina® after Dina, his grandmother), were available in all fifty states, sought after in seven foreign countries. Since the introduction in 1989 of the classic The Original flavor, ten more distinctive variations have been introduced, all of which continue to be packed with roasted almonds. The Maumee, Ohio company's mission remains: "TO PUT A DELICIOUS HEALTHFUL COOKIE ON EVERY TABLE"

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

Almondina is proudly made in Maumee, Ohio. The Company’s employees works as a team, along with 15 employees who work on the production line, baking and packaging cookies, another eight people work in the office -- many of them family members. Along with Yuval Zaliouk works with his wife Sue, who is the business' co-owner, he also works with their daughter Tamar Zaliouk Markham, who is Almondina’s newly named president and her husband Jason Markham, who is the executive vice president of sales & marketing. Distributed to all 50 states and several foreign countries, Almondina expanded its factory facility through a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan in 2013 as it was necessary to expand capacity. Karen Mills, administrator of the U.S. SBA, "Great companies are built by great people. We’re here to celebrate a great company and the entrepreneurs who built it,” Mills said. Production had maxed out at 100,000 cookies daily. The additional production line will double that.

What inspires you?

“Our family creates delicious crunchy almond cookies and crisps that are all derived from Grandma Dina’s original secret family recipe. We use this secret family recipe as a tribute to Dina as a grandmother and with YZ Enterprises new leadership great grandmother Dina, as we feel she is looking down on us and still guiding us to create great healthy, crunchy products. We bake with simple ingredients found in most kitchens, that contain no cholesterol, no dairy, no preservatives, no added fat and salt. Grandma Dina knows what we are doing, working with family to bring America's families “TO PUT A DELICIOUS HEALTHFUL COOKIE ON EVERY TABLE.”

What makes your business stand out?

For generations the Zaliouk family loved Grandma Dina's most secret cookie, which she called Petit Gateau Sec. Yuval Zaliouk, an internationally known symphony conductor and gourmet chef, always had a special place in his heart (and stomach) for this exquisite, crunchy wafer with the delicate flavor of roasted almonds, the natural sweetness of plump raisins and the warmth of vanilla. "Generous as she was in giving away her recipes, Grandma Dina kept the one for Petit Gateau Sec a total secret until the end of her life. Only then did she finally reveal the secret to her daughter, Ahuda, my mother.” "It is with her blessing and with pride that my family shares these delicious, healthful wonders with your family," says Yuval. The rush to eliminate fat from gourmet foods too often has also eliminated most of the flavor, a fact which is in sharp contrast to these enticingly delicious biscuits. Its mission remains the same: “TO PUT A DELICIOUS HEALTHFUL COOKIE ON EVERY TABLE.”

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

What ever you do, enjoy what you do, follow your dreams and create the best product that you can. There is always time and room for quality and creativity. If you are proud of your work and product, then chances are the pride that you instill into your labor will be appreciated by the consumer and also recognized for the same aspects that you see.

What does American Made mean to you?

YZ Enterprises is proud to manufacturer their entire product line in Ohio. Since Almondina is American made, we are able to provide jobs to Americans and add to our local economy. We are distributed to all 50 states and are constantly looking to increase our market saturation. As we bring new product offerings to our product line, YZ Enterprises management is being passed on to the first generation of American-born members of this family owned business that for a quarter of a century has celebrated being American made.

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