A small business with a big taste
RUNAWAY BAY, St Ann:
Adult men and women, and even some children have found beverages produced by Julie's Nutritional Foods favourable to their palate and to their health.
The five-year-old company is finding that products such as Julie's Irish Moss with Linseed (Flaxseed), peanut with Irish Moss and peanut with Irish Moss, and oats are finding favour with members of the public not just for taste, but also because of their nutritional value.
The small company also produces ginger beer with sorrel and iced tea, (both sweetened and unsweetened).
"The focus is on health products, and that's why we say nutritional because you get health benefits from all of them," says Juliet Shand, owner of the business.
It is Shand who developed the formula for each product and had them and the production facilities, located on the ground floor of her home at Belle Aire in Runaway Bay, St Ann, certified by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica.
"I like how Bureau of Standards do their thing now," Shand disclosed. "Each year, they come, they sit and watch you produce, so if you're making any mistakes - well, you can't afford to, so everything is up to standard because if there's one mistake, they're not passing it, so everything has to be on par."
The products are made without preservatives, have a shelf life (refrigerated) of three months, and are packaged in 12-ounce plastic containers.
"The leading drink right now is the last one that we did, which is peanut with Irish moss and oats; people consider it a power drink because it's loaded. having one is like having a meal," Shand pointed out.
"People are now more conscious of their health. they don't think about the price when it comes to their health, so they buy them. Everybody buy them, women as well as men, and they all love them. Children, too, because there is this little girl, she always questions me about the drink, especially the peanut punch."
Julie's Nutritional Foods are available along the north coast, including Montego Bay, and in Kingston, mostly at service stations and in some supermarkets.
Going forward, Shand says she wants her brand to become a household name.
"Definitely," she responded when asked the question. "I want Julie's to be a household name. People do talk about it, but I want to hear more people talk about it and drink it."
However, in terms of expansion of production facilities, she is unsure if her company will reach that (household name) level.
She explained: "To be honest, the market is there, but it's not easy getting people to work, so I try to keep it within a manageable size. Maybe in the future, somebody will take it far, but right now, I don't plan to take it too far."