Fri | Oct 30, 2020

The Dynamic Duo - Mother, daughter start culinary business

Published:Thursday | September 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Mother- daughter duo,Sharon Rufus and Rowena-Renee Xymines.

With such a strong bond and huge dependence on each other's energies, you will rarely see one without the other.

It has always been Rowena-Renee Xymines and her mother, Sharon Rufus, through the tough times, the accomplishments and even now in present successes.

The two have combined their love for the culinary arts and talent to start 'Chefs by Rowena-Renee', a company which currently acts as a hub for individuals and entities in need of chefs.

"I can remember always asking my mother to teach me how to cook, and how to bake since she was always teaching others, informally at home, and formally with HEART. She had never yielded to any of my requests, yet funny enough, I make very tasty dishes whenever I go inside a kitchen, even if the recipe is new to me.

"I believe my mother has taught me by modelling to the point that I am struggling to get over some of her bad habits. Don't tell her I said that!" Xymines said, laughing.

This young entrepreneur credits the person she is today to the kind of woman her mother is, and the values she instilled in her from an early age.


Single Mother


"My mother was a single mother because my father died when I was about to turn three. She was a teacher and I can remember her always having second and third jobs to ensure that I was clothed, fed, sheltered, and schooled. She would often take in other children, or even adults, that were challenged by the hardships of life. Not that we were rich - we certainly weren't, and still aren't - but my mother never made me aware that we were struggling or that anything was a bother. And she would always find an extra little something to help others."

One of those 'side hustles' was an ice-cream parlour called 'Cone Castle and Pastries' - a training ground for Xymines that came with a dance floor which she regularly used to entertain her mother while she worked.

Though she had a supportive mother, Xymines still had issues that she battled with daily, and had to ultimately fight for her life and control those feelings that threatened to defeat her.

"I wasn't a very confident young woman, being fat and all, and I didn't think I was beautiful. Immaculate (High School) ladies were by no means selfish or mean - at least I can't remember that. I was just not confident enough to handle their confidence, and so I decided to go far away from them to try to find myself and grow. That decision paid off because I got very involved at NCU (Northern Caribbean University), serving in several leadership positions, and had my eyes further opened to life."

She continued: "After leaving NCU, life gave me a rude awakening, and revealed itself to me in the form of dire financial challenges, illness, relationship challenges, spiritual battles, and career confusion. It got so bad that I contemplated suicide on several occasions. My mother, who herself had recently won the fight over suicidal thoughts, was my one and only reason for staying in the land of the living, because the thought of the pain she would feel was far more painful than the present pains I had been enduring."




She told Family & Religion that it was not until recently that she realised how well her mother had imparted her moral values to her; being kind to a fault and never compromising her dignity, integrity, and character.

Perfect reasons why the two needed to work on a project with a global appeal.

"My mother and grandmother have always been told to open a restaurant because their cooking would always wow those they feed. The challenge was, we had nowhere to get the type of money needed to start one in the way I would envision. Like my mom, I have had several failed entrepreneurial pursuits, but having the compelling dream of owning my own group of companies has always kept me focused. I started stripping down the idea of a restaurant and that brought me to the core - the chefs. I suggested it to my mother and she liked it."

She continued: "I had my soft launch on August 1, 2018, because there was so much that I was being emancipated from, and I, too, want to give clients the option of being emancipated from some of the limits that exist in traditional catering and dining options."

With all Xymines has experienced and accomplished with her mother, she is eager to share those experiences with the daughter and son she'll have in future.