Style Observer

A celebration of community

SO2 & 3

Sunday, April 07, 2019

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It was akin to making a Sunday country trek to visit a favourite relative, where, feet kicked up, you could trade the latest updates and be guaranteed platefuls of comfort fare from wizened seasoning hands. Gifford House, Granville, St James, the family seat of the Allen clan, was the first stop for the 21st staging of the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards: A Celebration of Community ... What a find!

The Family Tree...

Blandel Allen — Started Forge of Allen, which specialised in wrought-iron works. The company then segued into Lyform Ltd, manufacturers of pool and patio furniture which at the time supplied 75% of the hotel industry in Jamaica (Pegasus, Wyndham, Intercontinental, Shaw Park Beach, Tower Isle, Trident, Tryall & Villas at Tamarind Hill, to name a few).

Hazel Allen — Cosmetologist who studied and trained in New York City at La Roberts. Owned and operated salons in Montego Bay and Brooklyn, NYC - The Golden Comb. Fun Fact: She still cuts the hair of family members.

Glover Allen — Former councillor for Granville and production manager for both Forge of Allen & Lyform. Much of the wrought-iron works in the house were done by him. Along with Winnie Veronica, his wife, owned and operated Livity restaurants in Montego Bay. Then moved to Florida and operated restaurants for 12 years before returning to Jamaica to continue same.

Owen Dave Allen — Family and community historian, writer and community activist who focuses on land tenure for the marginalised. He is, too, a regular newspaper contributor.

Minnell Norma Allen - The interior designer who studied at the New York School of Interior Design and Art Career School. She returned to Jamaica and took up the position of furniture designer for Lyform Ltd in addition to managing the showroom for the company at the Village Mall in Kingston. When things slowed she returned to NYC and switched her focus to education at New York City Department of Education, from which she retired in 2015. It has now come full circle as she's now back to her passion of interior design.

Winnie Veronica Allen — The family's culinary whiz and her husband Glover have been in the business of food for decades. She continues to share her passion at a monthly feast, at their home in Pitfour, which caters to friends and those in the community.

Nicole Allen — Attorney-at-law in Montego Bay, who was called to the bar in England, Cayman Islands and Jamaica. Her firm is Allen & Co Attorneys-at-Law.

Janice Allen — Former tourism executive at the JTB and now owner and operator of her own consulting firm Forge Consulting (continuation of the family business name) focused on the hospitality industry: training, project management and public relations.


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