VIDEO: Four Decades of History-Making Tastee Bites
Forty-seven years since the first customer bit into its legendary golden, flaky patty, Tastee has cultivated a steadfast presence in the national diet and consciousness. The upstart patty-making business Vincent Chang opened in Union Square, Cross Roads back in 1966 has grown into a Rock-solid enterprise and a food staple consumed with voracious zeal by tens of thousands on a daily basis. With its storied history — including a move to new factory space at its now landmark Half-Way-Tree Road headquarters in 1971 and gradual expansion to include other locations — the fast-food restaurant chain penetrated the Jamaican consumer market and tastebuds, one patty (and coco bread) at a time.
Near shy of their half-century mark, Tastee's powers-that-be (Mr Chang, his director wife Valerie and their director daughter Simone) laid out the welcome carpet Monday afternoon to the Jamaica Observer Food Awards judging panel, affording us an inside peek at the company's factory operations (led by the super-knowledgeable Production Manager Beresford Bailey). Also in the cards was a post-tour, four-course lunch date hosted in the company's executive offices (and introduced by Chief Operations Officer Ryan Foster) that featured Tastee's catering service menu options.
Ahead of appetisers, we learnt from Foster that the eatery's catering arm which has mushroomed with double-digit growth in its short existence, offers low-cost alternatives to caterers, and provides a diverse menu for a range of events from dinner parties to conference meetings.
Take a pictorial journey with us on our factory tour and lunch date, Tastee-style.
(Photos: Bryan Cummings)