Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Fruit Blossom Ja - juicy goodness

Published:Thursday | July 6, 2017 | 7:03 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
Gourmet and chocolate-covered strawberries, let's go exotic without gifting.
Have a party with these fresh fruit kebabs on bling sticks. You might not want to throw the sticks away.
A sample of one that she would do for a child, A hand-picked mini mouse container for a gem.
Don't you just want to pick a flower and take a bite?
Kadeen Harvey holding an order that we watched her create for a customer.
Reggae medley popcicle by Fruit Blossom Ja.
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Picture a bouquet of your favourite fruits hand carved and dipped in chocolate. Your eyes feast on the glorious creations, but its your palate that gets the reward as you get to pick a pineapple flowers and sink your teeth into all its juicy goodness. That's the routine with every bouquet from Fruit Blossoms Ja.

Kadeem Harvey got the idea in 2009, when while visiting a friend in the United States who needed a gift for her boyfriend.

Her friend ended up getting him a Edible Arrangement. Harvey fell inlove with the idea and had a light bulb moment and decided she would try her hand at it when she returned to Jamaica. It was not until 2010 that she started Fruit Blossoms Jamaica. It took a lot of trial and error to perfect her craft. She told Food, "My friends thought that my first creation was good, but I must admit I did not think so at all. It was sparse." But that was soon corrected, and while Harvey did not have any training in Food or catering, it appeared that her calling in Cosmetology worked in her favour. Harvey was a cosmetology instructor by day and this helped her with her creativity in fruit carving by night.

Soon she was getting orders, and she became an example of practise makes perfect. When Food visited, we saw her create a masterpiece within half an hour. There was obvious care in how each piece of fruit was carved as she arranged the bouquet with ease and precision. Harvey told Food that she loves to get it right, as her greatest reward is seeing her customers reaction. "I have had fruits that's spoilt on customers because they put them out like flowers saying that the bouquets were too beautiful to eat," she shared.

However, her most rewarding experience occurred this past Teacher's Day. She was asked to deliver a bouquet to a teacher and upon seeing the bouquet, she teacher rejoiced by jumping for joy. It warmed her heart that she had a part to play in such joy. Harvey have learnt some very valuable lessons in her first year of operation, and in January of this year, decided to put aside her 9-5, and put all her energy into Fruit Blossoms Ja. Now this one woman show has evolved from elegant fruit bouquets to bouquets with an exotic twist with chocolate covered fruits. She tries her best to incorporate seasonal Jamaican fruits. "I want to show individuals how innovative and versatile out fruits can be. I have use papaya, jackfruit, naseberry and cane," she told Food.

Nothing goes to waste with Fruit Blossoms Ja, and Harvey has now added Popsicles to her creations. "When the fruits are carved, there is quite a bit left over that would be thrown away. Instead I blend them together and make Popsicles, Harvey revealed. These refreshing treats fix your sweet tooth without the guilt or artificial flavours. Flavours range from pineapple ginger, mango to a Jamaican signature called reggae medley.

Flavours like the mango and green juice Popsicles has no sugar added while the others includes sugar cane syrup. Outside of the bouquets, her customers can also get fruit kebabs and chocolate covered strawberries. Harvey's aim is to cater to every age group, with a gift for every occasion.

Her main advise to aspiring entrepreneurs - do not listen to the naysayers. There will always be people that will have something negative to say, but once you believe in your product you can accomplish your goals.