Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Patricia Banton dreams of opening restaurant

Published:Thursday | August 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Representing the parish of Portland, Patricia Banton took a leap of faith and entered PAN 2017. Unfor-tunately, her efforts did not bear fruit, as she failed to make it to the Grand finals.

Banton's spirit remains unchanged, and is more determined than ever before. She again visited her local Social Development Commission office to re-enter PAN 2018, with bigger hopes and dreams this time around to open her own restaurant.

"I decided to re-enter the competition this year and hopefully make it to the Grand Finals. If I win, I will be able to open a restaurant", Miss Banton shared.

PAN 2018 partner Jamaica National Small Business Loan provides a business develop-ment grant to winners at the Grand Final.

The 50-something-year-old Banton is from Rural Hill district in Portland and has been involved in the food business for over 14 years.

'I used to operate a restaurant for my brother when he went away to England. The restaurant was called Sea Breeze and it was located in Long Bay. I had to close it down, but it has been a dream of mine to reopen it', Miss Banton confided.

For the past nine years, she has been making a living on the streets of Long Bay, preparing pan chicken on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

Little business establishment

 

"The income from the business goes back into my household. I look after my brother's children and the money goes a far way in helping things in the house. I really would like have my own little business establishment," she said.

Miss Banton continued: "The pan chicken business can be profitable at times. Like in every business, sometimes things can be up and another time it can be down. But overall, I love what I do and it is this passion that has kept me going all these years," said Miss Banton.

"It was a friend who encouraged me to enter last year. I enjoyed it because of the exposure that it gave me. When I went there and saw the set-up, I was impressed. I think I didn't place because I panicked when I saw all the other competitors and all the nice people that came out", she said jokingly.

This year, she hopes to win the hearts of the judges. "I plan to steam the chicken after I jerk it. I am going to make it very nice and tender so everyone will enjoy it," Miss Banton explained.

Banton is among 35 competitors who will battle at PAN 2018 Regional 1 at Folly Oval, Portland, on Saturday August 25. The top two winners from seven parishes, namely St Thomas, Kingston & St Andrew, St Catherine, St Ann, St Mary, Portland and Trelawny, will advance to the Grand Final of PAN 2018 in October at the National Stadium.