WATCH: Yam boss roasting with prideSaturday, November 13, 2021
BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
After his friend Phillip Campbell, who roasted yams for a living, passed away, Vincent Frazer was determined to keep the small business alive.
The 32-year-old, who lives in Crooked River, Clarendon, and is commonly referred to as 'Yam Boss', said he would usually accompany Campbell to sell the roasted food as a youngster up until the time of his passing over three years ago.
“You know seh mi friend did deh here first but him did drop out [died] 'cause him did have high pressure (hypertension) and mi say a likkle ting can gwaan since mi deh roun,” he told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview.
Frazer said he knows Campbell, who was affectionately called “Gold teeth”, would be more than pleased that he continued the business.
“Yeah, man, him woulda proud, man,” he said.
Yams are not the only produce roasted at the stall at a street corner near his community, which is almost hidden by the thick smoke coming from the open fire.
“Mi will sell two pounds of yam and do dasheen, potato and coco, too,” Frazer said, adding that the ground provisions are served with roasted or boiled saltfish.
Detailing how long it takes to roast yams, he said, “The slimmer the yam is, it will roast quicker. It will roast fi like 30 minutes and you cyaan give it too much fire because it will burn up.”
Frazer said he started the small business last year during the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic as he was no longer being offered construction jobs at hotels in Negril and Trelawny.
The only challenge he encounters is transporting the ground provisions from his farm to the stall, as his donkey has an injury and is unable to carry the load.
“I have to carry a lot of bags with yams and is me alone. Mi donkey sick, so mi carry it (the load) on mi head tru' mi a really farmer still. Mi enjoy selling food. I get a lot of support. That's why mi deh here till now,” he said.
Frazer is encouraging his fellow Jamaicans to stay motivated while building their businesses.
“Just gwaan do your thing. You have to see what you like and put your best towards it,” he said.