JIS News

Even while many Jamaicans are of the opinion that imported goods are of better quality than local products, there are others who strongly believe in and are supporting the “Buy Jamaican: Build Jamaica” concept.
Small Business Operator, Jessie Duffus-Thomas, seeks to play her part in promoting things Jamaican, through her production and marketing of ‘Jessie’s Jamaican Fruit and Rum Cake’.
Working from her home in Discovery Bay, St. Ann, Mrs. Thomas told JIS News that she has been baking cakes for many years now. The inspiration, she said, came about due to the positive comments from her friends and family who knew that she loved to bake and would often encourage her to start her own business.
“This Fruit and Rum Cake is an original family recipe, created in the hills of St. Ann. It has been in existence for over the past four generations and to date minor additions have been made to it to capture a rather unique taste and texture,” she said.
She pointed out that Jessie’s Kitchen, as a cottage industry, is a registered sale trader business and currently has two employees who show a high level of competency in producing the Jamaican Fruit and Rum Cake.
“After 18 months of careful planning and marketing research, we began the sale of our Jamaican Fruit and Rum Cake in September 2005 and we have been gaining recognition across the island,” she said.
She informed that in February of this year, the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) took the product to an international expo in London where thousands of other exhibitors came out to sell their products to the public.
“I got positive feedback from JAMPRO and it makes me feel good to know that individuals as well as organizations abroad are interested in my product. Jessie’s Kitchen is working towards promoting its product globally, not just for the financial rewards but also as a means of helping to reduce the high levels of unemployment in the parish,” she said.
She further informed that ongoing testing and research is being done, as a new line of products would be entering the market in the year 2006, noting that persons should look out for Jessie’s line of Christmas cakes, which will be out by the middle of November 2005.
The Jamaican Fruit and Rum Cake, she said, could be purchased at several popular outlets in Ocho Rios such as, Rum, Roast and Royals at Island Village, Devon House, Gem Palace and Gift Palace. Other outlets include, Sovereign Supermarket in Liguanea, Sundries at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, and the Village Plaza.
She is appealing to all skilled Jamaicans to use their skills to the best of their ability, and to train others where possible, so that they too can become productive citizens of the society, working to build a better Jamaica.

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