History of Derek

Derek started business late back in 1840 dealing in importation of live cattle/bulls and meat business. During the last world war in 1940 Derek was still in the meat business supplying the British fleet and was the authorised meat supplier to supply the late admiral lord Louis Mount batten of Burma. Although all those difficult moments Derek had deadline dates to honour because when warships entered the grand harbour we had to be available with all quantities of meat / sausages for the admiral in person his captains and the rest of the war ships entering Malta during the war for supplies etc...

Also when princess Elizabeth who today is still Queen of England was living in Malta during her youth Derek was also authorised to supply her and her family members who were living in villa Gwardamangia with all necessary meat. 

After the war ended in 1945 the British government in Malta which was still a colony authorised Derek to continue supplying the NAAFI (British / Maltese personal) with all necessary meat / sausages. Then Derek were the first people in 1945 to start producing locally beef burgers and mortadella which was completely new to Malta after such hunger and lack of food supplies on the island of Malta. From this date till 1988 Derek was still in the meat business as one of the main and leading meat factories on the island of Malta.

Melosaul Balzan at the age of 19 always worked hand in hand with his uncle Salvinu Galea in the meat business in a modern environment of supplying meat frozen foods such as frozen vegetables fish burgers sausages. Derek was a leading supplier to the best restaurants, hotels and not least to the public who purchased meat from our retail department.

But then in 1988 Mr Melosaul Balzan changed the trade from the meat business to the garden business were we landscape gardens, public areas, hotels ...  etc. Today Derek Garden Centre is one of the leading garden centres on the island with a big history behind it. With all the respect Mr Balzan is proud to be the 4th generation with a lovely history.

Today the Derek Garden Centre also holds the largest cactus collection in Malta and the 3rd in Europe were one can come and admire our cactus museum to see the only free standing collection in Europe. This collection which was planted by Mr Melosaul Balzan's uncle Salvinu Galea when he was a kid today stands as a lovely and unique monument ranging from 1 metre to as high as 10 metre. Today Derek Garden Centre receives tourists from as far as Russia / America / Australia and all over Europe to see and admire this beautiful collection. Derek Garden Centre is an old building dating back to over 300 years old hunting lodge which was built by the grand masters of Malta and today converted in a lovely garden centre where people can come over and admire the beauty what nature has to offer.