Crazy Jim’s ice cream cake makes a sweet comeback
CRAZY Jim’s iconic ice cream cake, a cherished delight for Jamaicans, is making a sweet return to the market, overcoming production challenges spawned by the pandemic.
In an exclusive interview with the Jamaica Observer, founder and Chairman James ”Jimmy” Smith delves into the hurdles faced by Crazy Jim’s Ice Cream Cake during the pandemic, attributing setbacks to disruptions in the supply chain triggered by geopolitical issues.
“With the problems in Ukraine and Russia, shipping just threw everything into chaos,” Smith explained.
Despite these obstacles, when Smith & Stewart Distributors Limited, the owner of Crazy Jim, successfully restocked its popular product just in time for the holiday season, the high demand for the treat led to a quick sell out.
“Ice cream cake is something that just sells; no matter the amount you produce, it sells,” Smith commented, highlighting its enduring popularity.
Founded in 1985, Crazy Jim’s has become a household name, but the recent challenges in sourcing raw materials from suppliers in Poland caused a slowdown in production. The increased prices of skim milk powder, a key ingredient, compelled the company to temporarily reduce production.
“Something that had cost us $30,000 went up to $60,000 for a container, and shipping times that were normally six weeks stretched to two or three months,” Smith revealed to the Business Observer.
Despite these challenges, the company continued to distribute its sought-after ice cream cake, albeit in reduced quantities. While specific details about distribution and production levels remain undisclosed, Smith emphasised the company’s commitment to meeting market demands while boosting the idea that no matter how much the company produces, it’s always a hit with Jamaicans.
“We have never been able to supply the demand for our ice cream cake. It might be when you want it; it’s finished,” Smith said.
Plans for the upcoming year include addressing this demand by increasing production, with a dedicated cold room exclusively for ice cream cake production. Other considerations are being made for the renovation of Crazy Jim’s headquarters on McArthur Avenue, along with its Waltham Park Road in Kingston outlets. Looking ahead, Crazy Jim has committed to maintaining a consistent and steady pace in the market.
“We’re always thinking about what is new. We’re going to grow the business some more in 2024; that’s my objective right now – to increase our volume of all the products,” Smith expressed with optimism.