Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
The opening of The Captain's Bakery and Grill in Ocho Rios, St Ann, in three weeks' time will see the creation of 70 new jobs in the parish, a move welcomed by new president of the St Ann Chamber of Commerce, Kumar Sujanani.
"That's very good, we all welcome the additional business to our parish," Sujanani told The Gleaner on Tuesday after he was told of the number of jobs being created.
He said he hoped that additional businesses would continue to flow into the parish.
The 70 people are among a group of 100 chosen by the company from more than 600 persons who flocked the premises last week in response to advertisements placed in the media.
"A total of 70 persons will commence training at our branches in May Pen, Portmore and Cross Roads," Burrell explained. "It is customary that when we are opening new stores we expose the new recruits to training at our branches throughout and, therefore, starting tomorrow (today), 70 of these will commence training."
The new bakery and grill, the eighth such store in Jamaica, along with one in Grand Cayman (opened February 2002), marks the continued expansion of a business started 23 years ago by Captain Horace Burrell, who is the president of the Jamaica Football Federation.
Already there are stores in downtown Kingston, Cross Roads, New Kingston, Portmore, May Pen, Montego Bay and Mandeville, the latter being opened last year.
Burrell said that, shortly after the Ocho Rios store opens, his company would be concentrating on another store to be opened in western Jamaica.
Five years ago, Burrell bought property in Ocho Rios, along Rennie Road, and after a comprehensive refurbishing, the result is a state-of-the-art facility with modern equipment that will not only seat customers in a relaxed atmosphere but also enable the bakery to produce, on the spot, all items which the company sells.
These include bread of all types, buns, pizzas, donuts, ice cream, pies, cakes and a wide assortment of other pastries.
Burrell explained: "We have installed a huge donut production line capable of supplying, on a wholesale basis, the entire north coast region. We are equipped to satisfy the wholesale trade and a very important part of the business is supplying local contractors who will purchase and resell products."
The Ocho Rios store will serve as a hub for contractors along the north coast, inclusive of those in St Ann, St Mary and sections of Portland who would normally travel to Kingston to pick up supplies.
Burrell said he has had enquiries from the hotels along the north coast and stated that the Ocho Rios store, when opened, will be able to supply the hotel sector also.