And The Winner Is...
And The Winner Is...
Best (New) Local ProductDerrick Cotterell (left), group CEO and chairman, Derrimon Trading Company Ltd, making the presentation to winner Oji Jaja, Ashebre Gourmet Condiments Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce and Blackening Spice. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

How Derrick Cotterell, chairman and group CEO, Derrimon Trading Company Ltd, selected the Best New (Local) Product:

Oji Jaja's Ashebre line of products: Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce and Blackening Spice was ultimately selected as the winner because of:

• excellent product quality

• excellent packaging

• label design up to international standard and quality

• products are ready for the international market

The winner of the Best New (Local) Product will, courtesy of Derrimon Trading Company Ltd:

• have the product on the shelves at FoodSaver NY and Good Food For Less (Brooklyn) to gain international exposure and sales

• have the product in Select Grocers and/or Sampars

• be considered for distribution through Derrimon

Feedback from Oji Jaja

"It was such an honour to have been nominated for Caterer of the Year and Best New (Local) Product. However, to have won both prestigious awards was not expected at all. I consider it such a privilege to be recognised by industry professionals and my peers. Words can't begin to express the appreciation I have knowing that our products are going to be taken to New York by Derrimon Trading Ltd. My team and I have been working so hard on the development of our product line and now we are reaping the benefits of our hard work.

We know for sure that there is a lot of hard work to come as we grow to meet the demands of the international market. We look forward to all the possibilities this opportunity brings and are ready to step up to the challenge.

Thank you to the Jamaica Observer for providing this platform for industry leaders to be recognised.

Thank you to my team, family, friends, and fans for supporting and believing in us.

Thank you, Novia, for your continued support over the years and for pushing us to be the best version of ourselves."

— Oji Jaja

Derrimon's Cross Border Acquisition

In 2020, Derrimon Trading Company Ltd saw an opportunity to diversify and expand its operations and reach through the acquisition of a growing wholesale and retail set-up, namely FoodSaver NY and Good Food for Less through their subsidiaries Marnock LLC and Marnock Retail. These two operations are housed under a 42,000 sq ft supermarket and wholesale/cash and carry food service facility located in Canarsie, Brooklyn, across from the Brooklyn Terminal Market. The establishment has been known for having quality and reasonably priced products and sells a broad selection of products for individuals, independent restaurants, caterers and non-profit organisations, but specifically caters to the Jamaican, Caribbean and African diaspora.

FoodSaver New York, Inc was founded in 1996 and is known as the destination for quality meat, fish and produce, along with a huge inventory of restaurant supplies and groceries. Brooklyn currently has an estimated population of 2.6 million with customer demographics ranging from the Caribbean Diaspora, the African community, and residents from surrounding communities. This is seen as a great opportunity for Derrimon to enter the US Market and to also distribute locally manufactured products, including their own line of Delect products, to this ideal community of shoppers.

Here are some of the steps company principals considered leading up to the acquisition as well as some key learning experiences:

6 Steps To Cross-Border Acquisition Due Diligence Approach

1. Creation of the team: the first step was putting together the right team for the due diligence process, looking at key things like:

competitive positioning and future objectives.

creating an action plan that is risk-balanced with distinct steps on how to merge the business acquisition.

incorporating the M&A Basic 4 C's principles; namely, compensate, communicate, care, and cull

diversification of the group's revenue stream

access to capital and talent

information and data availability to facilitate the acquisition

2. Mystery shopping, which is simply the process of visiting the location with the objective of measuring things like customer experience, employee sentiment, etc.

3. Market Size: Analyze market size and trends when we propose to enter a market that operates differently from our local market

4. Location, Location, Location: Location impacts everything — access to target audience, suppliers, potential buyers, establishment size and capabilities, opportunities for expansion.

5. Easy access to product and product knowledge

6. Scalability of business post acquisition: in essence what other opportunities exist outside of the initial acquisition, is there an opportunity for further growth and diversification.

Key lessons and learning experiences

• talent and culture issues

• the cost of operating in other jurisdictions

• how to pivot immediately during operations

• how to sustain and grow relationships once the acquisition is complete

• the role of credit post acquisition

• funding the gaps

• recapitalisation of the business

We continue to be proud of these acquisitions and feel that sense of joy based on the financial results that we have achieved thus far. The integration of various cultures and operational efficiencies continue to be a work-in-progress; however, the introduction of quality Jamaican products in this market continues to open up real possibilities.

Ashebre Gourmet Condiments founder and culinary artist Oji Jaja presents his products Blackening Spice (left), Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce (centre) and Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Salt. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Derrick Cotterell, group CEO and chairman, Derrimon Trading Company Ltd, and Food Awards guest judge for the Best New (Local) Food Product examines the label of the Ashebre Gourmet Condiments Blackening Spice. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Ian Kelly, group chief financial officer, Derrimon Trading Co Ltd, and divisional director, Sampars, during his presentation at the Foodie Seminar (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Ashebre Gourmet Condiments Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce.
Ashebre Gourmet Condiments Blackening Spice.
Good Food For Less is located on 412 E 83rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11236 (Photos: JJ Foote)
Food Saver Wholesale Groceries & Produce is located on 8402 E 83rd Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11236 (Photos: JJ Foote)
A peek inside Good Food For Less, Brooklyn, NY, where Ashebre Gourmet Condiments will be available courtesy of Derrimon Trading Company Limited. (Photos: JJ Foote)

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