Tue | May 26, 2020

Business, books and a baby boy

Published:Thursday | May 14, 2015 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Johanna Denny has been a single mother for over two years and continuously does all she can for her six-year-old son Daijon.
Johanna Denny on the popular TVJ morning show Smile Jamaica with Neville Bell (left).
Johanna Denny

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Handling several business ventures, maintaining her relationship with her son, working overtime to meet deadlines and doing it all on her own, is a lifestyle only too familiar to Johanna Denny. She does it effortlessly, however, with God's strength.

As owner and operator of 'Roti Darling', a catering service for Guyanese and other nationals residing in Jamaica who love Guyanese treats and dishes, Denny says she has been a single mother for approximately two years, but finds that she is able to strike a balance among all she is involved in.

"Apart from my roti business, I started a YouTube channel in 2007 and recently started participating in Google Adsense, a programme that allows persons to earn foreign currency by hosting ads for Google on their personal websites or by posting content on YouTube (videos). Before venturing into the wonderful world of food as a business, I started a text messaging company that allows businesses to advertise when they pay to send a text message to a portion or all of 10,000 LIME and Digicel cell phones islandwide. It's all in the name of being able to care for my son."

unpredictable days

Rising as early as 4:00 a.m. some mornings, Denny informed that her days are unpredictable, but her son is her main priority.

"As a work-at-home mom, a day in my life can go from very calm and relaxed to extremely busy and overwhelming, as my food business, Roti Darling, is by pre-order only. I get up at 4 a.m. to either pre-meditate on my previous day, pray, read something that is of interest, and browse for news updates. Sometimes I would head back to bed and get up at 5:30 or 6:00 to have devotion and get Daijon (son) ready for school for 8 a.m. Each Thursday, I travel to Kingston to drop off roti and curry meals, and Guyanese treats or meals. That requires me to be up by the latest 1 a.m. or even earlier for preparation.

"Recently, I have been going to Kingston more often. I usually get back from Kingston at or before noon and (then) I start to fill orders for persons in Manchester and St Elizabeth. After I am done with filling food orders, I get home, get bookwork done with Daijon, and cook. I don't do much for recreation, but I ensure Daijon doesn't suffer at the expense of my ventures."

Denny's inspiration

Denny, whose father was able to juggle several tasks and still maintains a great relationship with his children, is inspiration for the spirited, young woman.

"As a child I have vivid memories of how dedicated my father was when it came to spending time with us. I think I got a lot out of his time as I always pleaded with him to take me on his side hustles after he was done with his nine-to-five (job). Now, I try to mirror his actions with my son."

She ended, "My advice to single mothers is to seek God first in everything and anything will go according to His will. Our children are our heritage and if we devote our lives and time to their upbringing, the world will subdue itself to love as children close their ears to advice but open their eyes to example."