Food

Circle K Hits The Rock!

Foodie News...Foodie News...Foodie News

Thursday, August 01, 2019

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You might have, like Thursday Food, noticed a Circle K outlet on Constant Spring Road and another at the corner of King Street and South Parade. If you've ventured inside you might describe the establishment as a kind of 7-Eleven, the US convenience store. There would be no further guesswork required when we happened upon young entrepreneur Joseph Mahfood, the man behind the concept.

“There are,” he shared, “two main reasons for starting Circle K, one being my entrepreneurial spirit which started at a young age, and the second, the need for a consistent level of convenience in Jamaica.”

“At 14 years old,” he continued, “I used to buy and sell phones. It was the Motorola Razr at the time. Then I got into e-cigarettes and brought in some products from China and started selling through the gas station channels with a friend of mine. That started my 'selling' career. During my MBA programme I learned about Circle K through a friend who has the franchise in Latin America, and fell in love with the concept immediately. A few months after graduating I hunted down the franchise director for Circle K and jumped on a plane to Phoenix to meet with their team and tell them about Jamaica. Two weeks later they were booked to come and visit the island. I spent a few days driving them around and showing them how special Jamaica was. A few months later, we were able to sign a contract and become the licensee not only for Jamaica but also for the Caribbean.”

Fortune favours the brave, and with two already up and running at 7 Constant Spring Road (by the main bus terminus and the other on the corner of King Street and South Parade, right beside Wendy's, and a third confirmed before year-end for Spanish Town Road, across from Tools Hardware, beside the new Three Miles intersection) there's no doubt that the bigger picture, that of rolling out 60 more stores across Jamaica and an additional 100 stores throughout the Caribbean, will be realised.

So what, you may ask, are the offerings? Mahfood did not miss a beat. “We have partnered with Best Dressed to serve a premium quality 100% beef hot dog which our customers are really enjoying.” It's no idle boast! The $290.00, award-winning 100% beef sausage topped with sweet pepper, relish and tomato ketchup is good and moreish. The bonus is that it's cradled between a roll that's baked fresh daily courtesy of Sister Benedict of Laws Street Trade Training Centre; Home of The Bread Basket. There are, too, Juici Beef patties, Fish Pot jumbo salt fish fritters; a wide range of coffees, frozen drinks, slushees, candy, and snacks.

“We make it easy so customers can take it easy,” he stated matter-of factly. “Our focus is on excellent customer service, a clean store (no easy feat with non-stop traffic) and fully-stocked shelves at all times.”

What might surprise many are the spacious interiors — the first two stores are 1,200 and 1,400 square feet, respectively — plus, the pristine interiors. Thursday Food can attest to this. Our unannounced visit to the downtown location revealed great service, a clean shopping environment, great prices and a very hands-on Joseph Mahfood.


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