About Us

Heritage Homes

Heritage Homes was established in late 1989 by Roger Castillo and Anna Demajo to produce genuine Maltese souvenirs that were of Maltese character and locally produced.

The first studio was temporarily set at Anna’s house and eleven years later it moved to the Ta’Qali Crafts Village were it still stands. The Heritage Homes range includes representations of actual village and town houses, farmhouses, churches , chapels, palaces, gateways and prehistoric temples.

The long and meticulous process to produce a new miniature starts by first identifying the building to be reproduced. An on-sight inspection would permit the master craftsman to take several photos from each angle and also the necessary measurements to be able to reproduce a model as faithful as possible. The original soft master is carved by hand in modeling wax, a material  very popular with professional modelers. A  mould of  the original carving is  taken using RTV Silicone,  a rubber capable of reproducing faithful and intricate detail. Each piece is hand cast using a special material imported from England  which on hardening would produce an exact copy of the original, however this would need refinement before it is given the first paint coat. The semi finished model goes for the final hand coloring  stage , a time consuming process that highlights and decorates all the details on the model. Strict quality control ensures that each item marketed carries a first class finish.

In 1997 Heritage Homes won the Award for Achievement in Industry organized by the Ministry Industry. The company changed hands in 2006 and was taken over by Joe Galea  and since then it continued to produce high quality products and also introducing new ranges of gifts to adapt for the present market needs. The company presently employs  several people on full and part-time bases and is aiming to increase its workforce furthermore when it moves to its new premises  also in ta’ Qali Carfts Village in 2012.

The Year 2011 will be remembered  as very special one for Heritage Homes, as the Master Caftsman and owner Joe Galea won two prestigious awards. The ‘Premju Gieh L-Artiggianat Malti 2010’ (Artisan of the Year Award 2010)  organized by the Malta Crafts Council  and  also the ‘WIPO Award for Innovation and Creativity 2010’ .


It  all started in 1983 when Joe Galea, driven by the need to earn some extra cash, started his first business in his parents’ garage in Rabat. This activity consisted in carving stone ornaments in Maltese stone and selling them to souvenir shops. After receiving a small lathe and a set of chisels as a Christmas gift from a close friend, Joe started producing his first  line of souvenirs. This was done using elementary tool, limited space, a lot of will power and a childhood talent. Being a keen modeler since the young age of 5, Joe knew that this would have been his road to success, so he moved to more intriguing models using different media such as ceramic to produce handmade models and statuettes of very high quality.

For years Joe worked single handedly after hours, modeling and selling statuettes in ceramic, but later he employed two part time workers and left his job at the Bank. In 1994 together with other family members established the Empire Art and Crafts Centre in Rabat, a state of the Art Craft Centre that housed several crafts under one roof. In 2000 Joe established the ‘Artistorika’ name for his new line of gifts which proved to be very successful. Most of the items produced by Artistorika are inspired by Maltese History and folklore, and this together with a good quality and moderate pricing made Artistoika a leading Manufacturer on Maltese souvenirs.  The fusion of Artistorika with  Heritage Homes  in 2006 strengthened  the  market share  of both  lines, offering a much wider range of items whilst minimizing production, distribution and administration costs.

Artistorika will continue to produce good quality gifts and ornaments mainly for the Tourist market but will be introducing a new range of gifts that will interest the local market  in 2012.