The Rock Steady ballroom of the AC hotel was the venue two Tuesdays ago for the presentations of nominees in the category: Best (new) local product to be judged by the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards judges along with guest Derrick Cotterell, Group CEO and chairman, Derrimon Trading Company Ltd. There was a lot at stake, and each presenter put their best foot forward as they sought to position their product in the best possible light. Plus, the product given the nod this year would, courtesy of Derrimon Trading Company,
• Have their product on the shelves at FoodSavers NY (Brooklyn) to gain international exposure and sales
• Have their product in Select Grocers and/or Sampars
• Be considered for distribution through Derrimon Trading.
Up first was Scott Lyons, co-principal, Bite Me
Product: Pickled Herrings
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
A history of the company:
The idea for the company came about during COVID in 2021. Lyons, like so many, was separated from his 9-5 as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. With a latent desire to start his own company it was now or never! After some deliberation, the decison was made to bottle his mother's very popular pickled red herring. Research followed and then commenced the sourcing of ingredients. "I decided we would start the company known now as Bite Me. The name seemed very ﬁtting and catchy in what we wanted to do and allowed for us to also branch out into different products.
All ingredients are sourced locally and from Jamaican-based companies.
The product is sold @ Uncorked, Loshusan, John R Wong, Butcher Block, Jamaica Food & Drink Kitchen, MegaMart, CPJ, The Collective 876, Holy Smokes, Craft Cottage.
The story behind the packaging for the products:
We wanted the product to have a rustic-chic appearance.
My ﬁrst breakthrough came when... we gave a sample to the restaurant Uncorked to see if it would do well in their condiments section and after tasting they immediately placed an order which gave us our ﬁrst physical location for sales.
The product became available to the public in... February 2022.
Our core customers are... men and women of all ages, leading to the various Scoville range of mild, spicy and very spicy
The response to the products has been... excellent. I would say majority of individuals who try the product love it, including people who don't usually like herring.
My products are successful because... of standardisation and quality control to try and get each batch to be as delicious every time.
I plan to grow the business to become a... household name both locally and internationally. I think it's a product everyone will enjoy.
My major challenge is... the ever-changing prices in the ingredients sourced and prices for shipping out of the country.
This issue remains and managing the raw material inventory is... slightly challenging given the life of some of the ingredients and quality when delivered.
If I knew then what I know now... I would've taken the step and started my business years ago, as you never know what an outcome may be until you try it. You might fail, but you could also succeed beyond your expectations.
Jamaicans should support my products because... it's delicious and your taste buds will thank you for it. Also, it is a locally made product with all materials sourced locally so you are in turn supporting other Jamaican businesses.