Lady Musgrave Road is now home to the CPJ Market, Kingston's new buzz-worthy lifestyle destination. Almost reminiscent of the North American Whole Foods chain, the store, which opened its sliding doors last week, is a choice stop for an expansive portfolio of wines and spirits; its house line of beef, pork and mutton meats; groceries; and specialty foods that include exclusive lines of gluten-free products.
Giving Thursday Life a walkthrough of the store earlier this week, CPJ's Business Development Manager David Lowe explained: "The CPJ Market is a diversification of our business model; primarily, it is a stand-alone opportunity for us to present our range of products."
"This is the second such location as we've had one which is a smaller offering based in Montego Bay. The Kingston outlet, because of the niche products we carry in a very specialised way, is also another approach to the market," Lowe added.
Housed in the CPJ-owned commercial complex, Courtyard (also home to the trendy eateries, Y Not Pita and Grill 71), the Market is part-health focused, part-select merchandise, and an all-premium experience.
Well-ordered and pristine in its appearance, the store covers 900 square feet of active selling space and has roomy aisles to navigate shopping carts. Amply stocked with well over 1,500 products, reputable consumer brand names occupy shelf space; from King Cole Duck and Sea Best lines in the frozen food section to Glutino's and Schär gluten-free line of snacks and pastas.
Operations Manager Laura Chandley told Thursday Life, "our market is really open up for everybody, but it's more of a showcase for our national retail partners. We find that it's hard for them to come in and see all what we have to offer because our selections are so diverse, so this is going to help us to showcase the items that we can distribute to them."
Lowe, is adamant that the new store is in "no way, shape or form competition with our partners".
"We see this as complementary to our retail partners. It is absolutely not geared towards competition," the business development manager stressed.
By next week, the CPJ Market will coalesce to function as three units in one. With the retail market already up and running, Lowe said the Deli -- serving CPJ's own processed meats, gourmet cheeses, and Chef Mario Machado's chicken pot pies, lasagnas and crab backs - will open for business shortly. Also slated to make its official debut by the weekend is the CRU bar, which Lowe describes as "a hybrid of a wine bar and a premium spirit destination".
So are more CPJ Markets in the pipeline?
Management is hitting the brake on any further expansion beyond the two locations. "This is a balancing of the see-saw. We are a Montego Bay-based company that has grown substantially over a number of years. We have had presence in Kingston in a different form and this is what we consider a lifestyle/epicurean destination. We don't foresee expansion in the immediate future for other locations like this," Lowe said.
Given CPJ Market's hip quotient, the traffic on Lady Musgrave Road just got even busier.