Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Honey Bun grateful for mentorship within JSE

Published:Monday | April 18, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Honey Bun (1982) Ltd senior managers (from left) Rosemarie Campbell Bailey, project management coordinator; Rosemarie Walker, production manager; Stacy Wilson, quality manager; Daniel Chong, chief operating officer; Michelle Chong, CEO; Janelle Brown, marketing executive; Sydoni Knight, human resource and administration supervisor; Dustin Chong, sales and distribution manager; and Wayne Watson, accounts payables supervisor.

This is the continuation of our series which takes a look at the close to 30 companies listed under the junior stock exchange.

Who are they, and is this a viable option for the small-enterprise sector in Jamaica? Read on and send your feedback to: barbara.ellington@gleanerjm.com

Since listing on the junior stock exchange in 2012, CEO of Honey Bun, Michelle Chong said she is very satisfied with the company's performance.

Chong, who was recently elected head of the Jamaica Exporters' Association, said there have been several benefits from listing on the exchange.

"The equity was the first benefit, naturally, but there were other significant factors that had even greater values as it relates to sustainability," she said. "The major two of these I would cite as corporate governance and mentoring, which has sustainable long-term benefits." Chong said mentorship included more than corporate governance but also included business strategy.

"We don't know what we don't know, and many businesses out there may think they know enough or want to grow big quickly or get rich quickly, but we must do business within a high standard of governance to reduce any risk and to improve the general business environment nationally," Chong added.

Lessons learnt

And the lessons were truly learnt as Honey Bun received the JSE 2013 Best Practice Corporate Governance Award in the Junior Market category for corporate disclosure and investor relations. That same year, Honey Bun also took the JSE 2013 Best Practice Annual Report Award for the Junior Market category.

Formed in 1982, Honey Bun has become one of Jamaica's premier pastry companies, rolling out a variety of cakes, buns and breads. Among the Honey Bun favourites are the Goldie chocolate or cream-filled sponge cakes, and the cinnamon roll. Recently, a commercial featuring the roll won a gold award in the Caribbean Advertising Federation tier of the American Advertising Awards or 'ADDY' Awards. The company also operates the Buccaneer Jamaica and Island Bites brands.

"Our auditors recommended that we enlist based on the fact that they saw where we were running a very tidy operation - good governance and tidy books, and so we were 'ready'," Chong said. "The tax incentives made it easy for us to decide." Chong said they expected to remain listed on the exchange.

The board members of Honey Bun (1982) Limited are Herbert Chong, director and chairman; Michelle Chong, director and CEO, Sushil Jain, non-executive director and mentor; Charles Heholt, non-executive director; and Paul Moses, non-executive director.