Mother's hits supermarket shelves
MOTHER'S, best known as a patty restaurant chain, is taking its sweet baked products to supermarket shelves.
The company has a new division, Mother's Bakery, which produces single-served sweet baked items for the retail trade, said Richard Foreman, its general manager.
Banana bread, cinnamon danish, marble cake, and sugar buns have already been launched in some supermarkets.
And Mother's is planning to bring out six more products before the end of next month.
By then, cheese breads, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, raisin bread, and donuts will also be in supermarkets islandwide.
Pastries aren't new to Mother's. The company took over the operations of the Devon House Bakery two years ago, spending $10 million on refurbishing. The business sells high-end treats as well as patties.
"The natural extension was to offer the same quality products offered at the bakery at affordable prices," Foreman said.
"If you stay still, you get left behind," Foreman said, adding, "before it was patties, but the market seems to be limitless."
Market testing has shown that customers are interested in the new line.
So far, the reception has been good. "We've been working long hours to meet the demand," Foreman said.
"We hope to have an official launch early next year, in light of the upcoming Christmas holidays."
Supermarket sales began last month and an advertising campaign will start within the next fortnight.
Some of the canteens run by Mother's in nine Kingston and St Catherine schools — such as Jamaica College, the Queen's High School, Camperdown High, and Spanish Town Primary — have also been supplied with pastries.
The expansion into baked treats is part of an aggressive expansion programme.
The company has spent $150-million refurbishing its school canteens and plans to go into as many schools across the island as possible.
It is also thinking of moving into canteens at businesses. "The main factor would be to meet the needs of the customers," Foreman said.
Mother's, which currently operates in seven parishes, is eyeing Montego Bay, Savanna-la-Mar and Negril as possible future outlet locations.
After that, the plan is to take a shot at Port Antonio, Foreman said.
The 30-year-old company, which employs 800 persons, is yet to export its products but has some prospects that it hopes to capitalise on.