Thursday Food was under the tent at KGN Kitchen's Emporium last Sunday where we discovered five new foodie products and the faces behind them. We share their stories.
Pregnant with her second child last year, Keeva Ingram decided to give the honey-making business a try. She had heard of beekeeping classes being offered by the Ministry of Agriculture and thought to herself: "why not?"
Completing the know-how lessons last June, Ingram set up an apiary on family-owned land in Nightingale Grove, St Catherine and started bottling honey last month. An educator at St Andrew High and also employed to her family's loan business, Integrity Finance, Ingram says juggling three jobs is a challenge but one she is up to. Her honey enterprise, which operates under the brand, Sweet Goodness, sells 473- and 750-milli-litre bottles. The multi-tasker says she faced intense competition in the retail trade when trying to have her honey sold in supermarkets and pharmacies, but has found a more receptive market marketing to business offices. "I've grown from six to 11 hives and it's a challenging business, but I'm enjoying it," Ingram shared. To order bottles of Sweet Goodness, call 330-7014 or 908-3026.
Sweet Ov'n Treats
The absence of locally made healthy snacks on the shelves spurred Janet Golden to create her own. "While I am not vegetarian, I didn't see a lot of Jamaican veggie snacks," she told Thursday Food. "I started making vegan cookies out of a need to eat something other than the typical biscuit."
Launching her home-based enterprise, Sweet Ov'n Treats, last September, Golden makes five variety of cookies: ginger and flaxseed; raisin and flaxseed; sunflower and pumpkin seed; sorrel and almond; and coconut. Golden, whose day job is an information and communications technology consultant said the cookies -- sold in packets of three and four -- are available at Natural Health, AZ Mart, Woolworth, Proactive Lifestyle, Healthy Natural and Monarch Pharmacy.
The two-year-old Naani Spices made its debut at KGN Kitchen's Emporium last Sunday. Company director Ramona Bahadur, who operates the family-owned business along with husband Wayne Demercado, mum Rosemarie Bahadur and stepfather Osmond Ramharrack, told Thursday Food it was her grandfather's recipe that provided the motivation to start the company. Naani Spices manufactures four products from its factory in Bushy Park, St Catherine - six-ounce bottles of Solomon Gundy, five-ounce bottles of pepper sauce, and 10-ounce bottles of escoveitched and jerk sauces. "They are all specially blended, with all natural ingredients and have no MSG," Bahadur informs. "Everything is done by hands for a personal touch and made with love," she adds. Naani Spices are sold at MegaMart, Lee's Food Fair, John R Wong, Michi Supercentre, Hi Lo Food Stores, Empire Supermarket, General Foods, Family Pride, Sovereign and Brooklyn Supermarkets, My Neighbourhood Supermarket and CariHome.
Reggaetawa Pickled Codfish Roast
Launched just two months ago, Reggaetawa's pickled codfish roast is not yet available on supermarket shelves. The roast, which is sold in six- and eight-ounce bottles is the brainchild of Anglican priest Sean Major Campbell and his information and communications technology employee sister Michelle Brown. "We grew up with the recipe in our family," Campbell shared with Thursday Food. "We would have codfish choker with dhal and roti."
Realising an open market existed for pickled codfish, Campbell said he and his sister went about creating a refined version, which he says to date, has been met with favourable feedback. Campbell tells us he was among the first graduating class of the HEART Runaway Bay Training Institute in the late 1980s, so for him, "it's a full circle coming back to the culinary arts." To order Reggaetawa's pickled codfish, call 548-8979 or email email@example.com
"It's a hobby that took on a life of its own," Pamela McLaughlin says of dipping her toes into the culinary field as a maker of baked goodies. A molecular biologist and lecturer at the University of Technology, McLaughlin says she would often bake cookies for family and friends, who often encouraged her to go commercial with her talent. After gifting loved ones this past Christmas with lemon and coconut cookies and rum balls and hearing the oft-repeated suggestions to start a business, McLaughlin decided to heed the advice. She recently catered her first wedding with cookie desserts to much praise, and is eager to take on other clients. "I've loved to cook from a young age," she discloses. "Baking is somewhat similar to science, in that it is an exact science that can only be perfected when you follow specific methods." To taste the precise tastiness of McLaughlin's cookies, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 579-780.
(Photos: Joseph Wellington)