Bjorn Bartolo

Manouche Craft Bakery & Bistro Co-Founder and Director Bjorn Bartolo is eagerly awaiting the start of 2024, as the restaurant chain is poised to expand its network with four new outlets.

Since it opened the doors of its first restaurant in Spinola, St Julian’s back in 2018, Manouche, known for its French pastries, has grown rapidly, with outlets now also open in Valletta, Bay Street (St Julian’s), Mosta, and Gozo. Additionally, the brand also converted one of its previous outlets in Paceville (St Julian’s) into a new sister brand, Detroit Diner, focused more on American dishes.

After what has been a year of further expansion for Manouche, as part of this year’s end-of-year series, Mr Bartolo was contacted by to offer a recap of the year and to share his goals for 2024.

Mr Bartolo stated that the best way to sum up his 2023 is through the words “challenging, rewarding, and ambitious”.

“This year has been a very challenging one as we have officially opened Detroit Diner in Paceville as well as two new Manouche franchises in Mosta and Gozo. It has been extremely rewarding to see all the new outlets doing well, as well as our other outlets flourish and grow their clientele,” he explained. He added that during the year, Manouche also branched out to outside catering and corporate orders, and since then, it has held a “strong position” with other catering companies, whilst still “maintaining its roots and keeping all servings hand crafted.”

Mr Bartolo highlighted that of the accomplishments from 2023, he is most proud of the opening of the Detroit Diner, as it was an idea he had been working on for the past few years, creating a brand that is “sought after amongst all Detroit-style pizza lovers”.

He confirmed that 2024 is expected to be another “big and important year” for Manouche, with two new outlets set to be opened, while two other sites are “in the pipeline”. Mr Bartolo added that there are also plans to have a “bigger playing field” for Manouche’s bakery.

“In a year’s time, I see myself with four new Manouches and the launch of a new brand. 2024 is going to be a super year,” he added.

He said that these achievements are possible because of the restaurant chain’s growing team, who Mr Bartolo described as “superstars”, as well as its customers.

Moving on to how he is set to celebrate the turn of the year, Mr Bartolo said that he will most likely spend New Year’s Eve with his family, while the following day will be dedicated to helping the team at the flagship Manouche outlet in Spinola through a “very busy lunch”.

Similarly to how his New Year celebrations will involve being present for his team, Mr Bartolo’s daily routine tends to be very closely tied to Manouche and Detroit Diner’s operations. He is seeking to make some subtle changes to this in 2024, dedicating more time to daily exercise and to his family, who he “missed too many moments with due to work.”

Featured Image:

Manouche Craft Bakery & Bistro Co-Founder and Director Bjorn Bartolo

‘My vision is not just to meet local standards, but to exceed them’ – Dr Anna Maria Fenech Magrin

19 February 2024
by Sarah Muscat Azzopardi

The Medical Director at DoctorAM Clinics is bringing all of her knowedge and experience in the field of aesthetic medicine ...

Addressing skill gap in advanced technology will be 2024’s primary challenge – CEO Gege Gatt

26 January 2024
by Fabrizio Tabone

During an interview from our latest series, the AI expert says he wants to align his personal growth with that ...

Charlene Sciberras’s journey to CEO ‘reshaped’ her approach to leadership and ‘honed’ her abilities

25 January 2024
by Fabrizio Tabone

In our end-of-year series, she states that her promotion to CEO back in March was a ‘pivotal and transformative experience’ ...

‘Success is a shared journey, not a solo endeavour’ – VentureMax CEO Justin Paul Anastasi

25 January 2024
by Fabrizio Tabone

In the latest article from’s interview series, the VentureMax CEO says 2023 was ‘transformative’, yet also equally ‘intense’ and ...

Close Bitnami banner