It’s been 13 months since the Island Flavah Restaurant and Catering Services opened its doors in Poughkeepsie, New York. The entrepreneur, Tracy Simms, who hails from Portmore in Jamaica and migrated in 2008, finally got the opportunity to showcase the cuisine and culture of her beloved island. Operating under the theme “just like home” the menu comprises of scrumptious treats that satisfy the taste buds giving Jamaicans a reminder of food back home and non-Jamaicans a taste of the island. Among the deliciously-prepared meals served are: oxtail and butter beans, curried goat, the famous jerk chicken, cow foot, barbecued jerk ribs, jerk salmon and lots more!
Speaking with DoBusinessJamaica.com, Simms said, “Jamaican style has always been greatly appreciated by foreigners, especially when you provide good authentic food. 80% of my customers are non-Jamaicans.” She added that she’s always pleased to receive the many compliments she and her team are given by patrons and even some have expressed their desire to visit Jamaica to enjoy more of the culinary delights from popular eateries.
“I also use the opportunity to promote Jamaica in a postive way, as I am very proud of my country. I play my part by sharing not just information about the food, but about the other attractions there,” she told DoBusinessJamaica.com. While mentioning the ease of starting up her business in the United States, she said the rest of the process was mostly faith and hard work. “Once you have all the required documents, the procedure was fairly simple,” adding that the waiting period for approval was not a headache either. Similarly, Jamaica is moving progressively in making doing business as easy as possible.
Simms has hopes of growing her restaurant and, who knows, maybe one day she might even “set up shop” in Jamaica! “If you’re going to dream, you might as well dream big!” she said with a chuckle. “Right now though, I am building this brand here, but I am really looking forward to opening another outlet in New York … after all most of the large franchises we now enjoy did their thing, one restaurant at a time…I too hope it can happen for me. As a matter of fact it will! Because with Christ all things are possible.”
I hope you’re inspired to bring Jamaica abroad or do business in Jamaica!