Mark-Crest Foods Ltd.
Emil Glukler immigrated to Canada after training and working as a pastry chef in Switzerland. In 1963, he founded Mark-Crest Foods Ltd. (MCF) alongside his wife. The couple began making a small line of pie and pastry products in a small space in the basement of British Columbia Ice & Cold Storage, growing over the years to become a leading food producer with a market share spanning Canada and parts of the United States.
Today, Trent Glukler, Emil’s son and president of MCF, has worked for the family establishment since graduating high school in 1980. Alongside his brother, Michael, Trent oversees a staff of 50 employees working from a single 32,000-square-foot facility in Langley, British Columbia. The team manufactures more than 300 different bakery products for manufacturers all over North America.
A tasty product line
MCF offers a wide range of bakery products, all made in-house with fresh ingredients. These food items move through distributors who sell to a range of food service customers coast to coast. While the business has a strong line of standard products, the crew frequently goes above and beyond for customers, creating specialty items for small and large bakeries and eateries. MFC’s product line is broken into eight categories: pie shells, pie dough tops, short flake dough items, puff pastries, patty shells, crepes, finished items and hors d’oeuvre items.
“Sometimes we get requests for specifics from companies, like a particular shape or type of dough,” Trent notes. “But there is nothing that the company itself is introducing. It is easy to adapt for shape or size, for example, and that helps us keep the business diversified. It also enables us to keep our customers over time and build strong, long-lasting relationships.”
Trent and his team have taken on a number of specialty projects for customers over the last few years. “We recently formulated a specific crust for a pie manufacturer out of Alberta,” he elaborates. “We are able to do smaller units for a small manufacturer.
In order to produce these fine crusts and pastries, MCF invests heavily in raw materials. “Quality is our highest priority,” says Trent. “We use only high-quality ingredients. While we do a lot of upkeep in our facility, a lot of our machinery is older. That makes our process slower, but the end product is better.”
As long as company is turning a profit and his customers and employees are happy, Trent considers the business successful. “I like that when you walk in, our plant has a good vibe to it,” he explains. “We follow a lean manufacturing business model, which empowers employees to work toward making changes in the company to improve efficiency and make their jobs easier. When the employees are more efficient, we don’t turn around and lay people off. Instead, we invest money and time back into the company to develop a greater product line and market share.”
Trent follows a unique mission that keeps him humble and helps him support his team. “In Japanese philosophy, the pyramid is upside down,” he explains. “The people at the top are most important and the people lower down support the top. I’m at the bottom, serving as the point that supports the rest; it’s an honorable role. We have adopted this concept and there has been a major culture shift since. We have spent years encouraging our staff to feel they have ownership and responsibility in the company. Every penny we have invested in improving our company culture has been worth it.”
As the business grows, the Glukler family also prioritizes community ties. The company is frequently involved with school, church and community group fundraisers, offering discounted prices for these groups. This charitable involvement serves as a reminder of humility and a strong balance between financial success and giving back.
Going forward, Trent is focused on maintaining positive momentum. He is always looking for new ways to improve the business and further the professional development of his staff. The company is strongly tied in to the restaurant, hospitality and food service markets, which have remained stable over the last decade. While MCF maintains strong relationships with clients and distribution partners, the crew is on the lookout for new relationships all the time. With a high-quality product line, a loyal customer base and a dedicated staff, Mark-Crest Foods Ltd. is poised to continue growth throughout North America.