Kerisa Wright wins PAN 2019 Grand Champion title
Kerisa Wright was disappointed when she did not make it among the top three winners in 2017. The White Horses, St Thomas resident took a leap of faith and decided to re-enter. Two years later, she emerged as PAN 2019 Grand Champion.
With tears in her eyes, the mother of two, who does her jerked chicken business on the streets of Springfield, clutched the winner’s trophy and breathed a sigh of relief.
“I am feeling great! I am excited and thankful. I went back to the drawing board and I did it right. I tried something totally different and it worked,” said an excited Wright.
She won from a field of 27 other competitors at the PAN 2019 Grand Finals, which took place on Sunday, October 27, at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann.
“The biggest lesson that I learnt was to have faith. Just trust and believe in God,” she shared.
PRIDE AND JOY
The joy of seeing her two young daughters (seven-year-old Saria and three-year-old Chelsea) smiling each day serves as motivation to Wright. She says her daughters are her pride and joy and ensuring that their basic needs and wants are met, she continues to strive for a better life.
“Being a single mom, my daughters are very dependent on me. The proceeds from my pan chicken business is what sends them to school and takes care of their everyday needs,” Wright explained.
For the past five years, Wright has been the proprietor of Girlie’s Chicken and Soup Corner, a jerked chicken and soup shop which is located on the main road in White Horses, St Thomas. Later this month, she will open her very own restaurant on Springfield Road in Morant Bay.
Nicole Hall, assistant brand manager, CB Foods, is happy about Wright’s win.
“I’m so proud of Kerisa, and to see how far she has come. She is a single mother of two and she has been working hard to advance her skills to come out on top. I am really happy for her,” said Hall.
Wright won $350,000 cash from CB Foods, a year’s supply of CB chicken, a year’s supply of National Hardo bread, a year’s supply of Miracle Ketchup, $150,000 from JN Group, and prizes from Red Stripe, Walkerswood, Nupak and Tru-Juice.
Omega Harris, brand manager for breads at the National Baking Company, expressed her company’s appreciation in being a part of PAN 2019.
“We have been proud partners of PAN since its inception because we at National are always in full support of entrepreneurship and activities geared for a great family experience. And, to add to that, you cannot have PAN chicken without National Hardo Bread,” said Harris.
She continued, “This partnership has allowed us to connect with our customers islandwide, and supporting the vendors, who are also our loyal customers, remains the highest reward for us. It’s incredible to be on the ground to witness the pride as all the contestants showcased their talents. National congratulates the CB Foods team once again for showcasing the best of Jamaica’s pan vendors and for another successful staging.”