CubaPLUS Magazine

Gustó: arrived and triumphed

By: By Mercy Ramos Photos: José (Tito) Meriño
Gustó: arrived and triumphed

It is hard to find anyone who is not a lover of ice cream or yogurt, products rich in calories, minerals and vitamins.

gusto-2.jpgIn Cuba, as in many other countries, these food items are in great demand, and with the emergence of selfemployment (TCP in Spanish) about three decades ago, and the more recent micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), both products have many more manufacturers.

 One of them is Lácteos Clamanta SURL, initially created as a TCP and converted about a year ago into a MSME for the benefit, above all, of the population of the neighborhood of La Lisa, in Havana.

For Martín Nizarane, founder of Clamanta, his company has been a great dream come true, with a lot of effort, because what started from nothing now produces 1,700 liters of yogurt and 4,000 liters of ice cream daily under the Gustó brand.

 “We started from scratch, with our own resources and recycled materials.

Some of the yogurt and ice cream processing equipment was actually handmade by retired people with equipment that had been discarded,” Nizarane proudly told this magazine.

With the creation of the MSME, they were able to import equipment from Argentina and Italy, which has strengthened and increased production.

Today, with a workforce of around 50 workers, Clamanta produces around 20 different flavors of ice cream and five flavors of probiotic yogurt.

Its main customers are Caribe stores, Caracol, the Palco group and the Palmares tourist company in the capital city.

Something that should be highlighted in Clamanta is that its workers spare no effort in producing high quality ice cream and yogurt and this is due to the sense of belonging they have, because they are considered a big family, said the businessman.

gusto-1.jpgAnother of the factors that stand out in the company is humanism and, in this regard, Nizarane stressed: “As we have grown, we have applied our supreme law, that of gratitude.

I was born in La Lisa and I owe it to her, I lived many years in Chile, but my love for Cuba was stronger and here I am and here I will stay,” he said.

“We have had great support from the municipal authorities in our purpose of helping to improve our neighborhood. For example, we have fixed streets, repaired the local Coppelia ice cream parlor and the baseball stadium for the children of the San Agustín neighborhood and contributed to the repair of the province’s entrance roads in Punta Brava, among other objectives,” he added.

“We made a donation through what we call the ´Caravana liseños´ in coordination with the municipal authorities. Six educational institutions and four health institutions, including nursing and maternity homes, schools, among others, received whole milk, ice cream and yogurt to contribute to their nutrition and all this has been out of love. My wife and my daughter have inspired me in this purpose, they have been my driving force,” he said.

“We don’t only donate what we have left over, we even donate our raw material, partly as a motivation of social responsibility,” he emphasized with passion.

But Nizarane intends to continue developing his company and expanding it for the benefit of his community and beyond.

In this regard, he commented that among his plans is the upcoming acquisition of a factory to produce ice cream, through the Cuban company CubaExport, as well as two refrigerated trucks of five and 3,5 tons, respectively, making it possible to transport the well-preserved products to more distant places, where it is not possible now.

“With the new plant and the specialized transport that maintain the cold line, in addition to the new packaging that will soon arrive, we will give more impetus to our production and marketing capacity,” he assured.

“All this”, he stressed, “will contribute to the benefit of our population and will make it possible for us to give more happiness and, in return, we also receive love. In addition, we will also be able, perhaps sooner than we imagine, to start exporting our products, which will contribute to increase the income of foreign currency to the country and, therefore, will be our modest contribution to the recovery of our economy. If we all unite and contribute a grain of sand we will be able to move forward, I believe this is the way forward.”

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