Jamaica Patty Company — Four Weeks & Counting of Tasty Crust & Filling
It's exactly five weeks since Jamaica Patty Co (JPC) opened its first store in leased property at 26 New Row, Covent Garden, in the heart of London's entertainment and retail district. "We opened on March 22," shares co-proprietor Andrew Roberts, "but decided on a soft launch prior to Easter to get our systems and staff sorted ahead of any marketing campaign. Given that we are in soft-launch phase, trading has been extremely encouraging." It's no idle boast! JPC already has, according to Roberts, "a profitable core lunchtime business serving local office and shop workers". There's more. The patties, which retail at 3.95, are moving as quickly as they are baked. "We sell between 80 and 120 each weekday between 12:30pm and 2:30pm... Saturdays are our best trading days as we get a steady flow through the store all day, " Roberts reports.
The biggest surprise - due to its location - has been the support from the Diaspora. "We've been getting," continues Roberts, "far beyond what we expected with most visiting on a Saturday or Sunday. We are also building a good late-night business (open until midnight) six nights a week, serving late night workers and people on a night out. Tourist business has been interesting... we get a lot of business from people already familiar with patties (Caribbean, North America and Canadian) but limited sales to other nationalities."
'Other nationalities' are those who'll be targeted by JPC. "A large part of our marketing will focus on educating people who know nothing about patties (which includes the vast majority of the UK).
"Critical reaction to the food has been pretty much 100 per cent positive from both Diaspora and restaurant critics and reaction to the brand 100 per cent positive - all in all a really encouraging first four weeks which gives us a fantastic platform to grow the business, " says Roberts.