The Celeste Group, with more than 50 years of experience in the bakery and pastry industry, has four production units, eleven stores and employs more than 400 people. As a result of the growth strategy, it will now invest two million euros, between Portugal and Luxembourg, to increase production capacity by 30% and will renew the image of the stores and increase the portfolio of articles.
"At the level of industrialisation, we will increase the freezing capacity and increase by 30 percent the production installed in the manufacturing units in early 2024. It is also in the group's plans to increase the range of products, bet on the export of products produced in Portugal and invest in the industrialization of packaging, "says to ECO / Local Online the CEO of the Celeste Group, Teresa Vaz. Currently, the company exports only 4% of production to Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Monaco.
In Portugal it has three manufacturing units located in Guimarães, Vizela and Ermesinde, and ten own stores. In Luxembourg there is a manufacturing unit, a supermarket, a restaurant and a bakery. Between the factories of Vizela, Guimarães and Luxembourg, it produces more than 14 million loaves of bread per month, which corresponds to more than eight thousand tons per year. The Ermesinde unit is more focused on the manufacture of biscuits and bread form, with a cumulative monthly production of 200 items in these categories.
With the increase in production capacity by 30%, the Celeste Group expects to produce two more tons of bread and cakes, increasing to 11 tons per year. On the other hand, it is renewing the image of the stores and about to inaugurate a research and development (R&D) laboratory in the industrial unit of Guimarães. "It is very important in the area of industry to have an area outside of production that is constantly testing new products," contextualizes the manager.
Going back in history, with only 12 years, António da Silva Pereira Vaz already helped his father, José Vaz, as a baker. In 1968, he decided to create this company with the construction of an industrial unit in Guimarães and, 15 years later, opened the first store in the city of Berço, with the concept "Pão Quente", the name by which he initially came to be known. Only later does the founder give the name of one of the five daughters to the business project.
The business is the culmination of a passion that has passed down from generation to generation. In 2003, the second generation took over the management of the group, passing in 2007 the business to be managed by Teresa Vaz, daughter of the founder, who began working in the company in 1995, shortly after completing the course of International, Economic and Political Relations at the University of Minho.
In 2013, the group bets on internationalization and chooses fell on Luxembourg. In the plans is the opening of a store next to another emigrant community in Europe, "so that you can enjoy the tradition of Portuguese products in the country of residence". From 2026, although the details are not yet defined, highlights the 45-year-old manager, the commercial expansion plan will be resumed in Portugal and abroad.
Finally, in the area of sustainability, the northern group has already set in motion the installation of photovoltaic panels in the industrial units of Guimarães and Vizela, a total of one thousand in about 2,600 square meters. A measure that will allow coverage of about 25% of the group's energy needs and avoid the emission of 340 tons of CO2 annually. The Celeste Group has also been increasing the number of electric and hybrid vehicles, expecting to renew 2031% of the fleet by 70.