'Awesome, very lovely and nice!'
Customers praise National Bakery's new $220-million wholesale outletSunday, December 09, 2018
BY SHARLENE HENDRICKS
National Bakery gave its customers an early Christmas gift yesterday with the opening of a brand new wholesale outlet on Balmoral Avenue in St Andrew.
The approximately 6,500-sq-ft facility represents an investment of just over $220 million and now makes shopping more convenient.
“Awesome! It's a lot easier to shop here. This will ease up some of the pressure from the other location where you would normally have to wait in line. Here, you just grab and go,” said regular customer Stephanie Mair after the mid-morning ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Long-time National Bakery patron Cecil Brown described the facility as “very lovely and nice”.
“Is years I've been shopping with National — about 10 years now. Sometimes two or three times a week I used to go to the other location, but this just makes it even easier,” Brown said as he cashed a trolley full of products.
“It's excellent!” said another customer. “You can just come in and get a trolley and pick up the things you need. It's just more convenient.”
Another regular customer agreed. “I love it,” she said. “The customer service is great as well, and there is a lot of space in the parking lot.”
There is no over-the-counter service as obtains at the baking company's Osbourne Road location.
“This is just more convenient. The customers now actually get to select the items that they need instead of being served over the counter,” said Store Manager Deberena Gayle.
“The parking is great, and the location is ideal for persons who will pass here to and from work. So we are really happy about this new store and we are looking forward to serving the customers,” Gayle added.
National Bakery Principal and Executive Chairman Gary “Butch” Hendrickson told the Jamaica Observer that the wholesale was long in coming and a necessary step in the right direction.
“It had gotten very embarrassing to see how our customers had to line up at our Osbourne Road outlet. It got a little ridiculous. People had to be standing in the sun, standing in the rain, and that's not what we want for our customers. We decided to do better, and this is the answer to that,” he said.
“Most of the customers are not retail customers; they buy in bulk, and this will make it easier for them to come in and get out. So that was the idea: to make it easier for the customers,” Hendrickson said.
“The decision was very quick, but the execution took a long time, probably too long because we did it ourselves and we are not construction people, we are bakers,” he quipped.
Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Metry Seaga and Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica President Howard Mitchell, who participated in the ribbon-cutting, congratulated the company on the opening of outlet.
“I think in true National fashion, anything you are doing, you do it very well. And this is another example of a great job well done,” said Seaga.
Mitchell agreed: “I want to congratulate the National family for not only being genuine manufacturers, but doing it so well with so much passion and commitment.”