Faith's Pen gets $4m facelift from Red Stripe
The popular Faith's Pen Rest Stop in St Ann was relaunched last Friday with the vendors expressing optimism that business will once again be vibrant.
The relaunch was, in part, made possible by Red Stripe, which over the past four months has invested more than $4 million in the facility.
The investment covered items including painting and rebranding of outlets, installing new signs, re-roofing the outlets, replacing damaged bathroom fixtures and arranging for proper garbage disposal.
Along with Red Stripe, Students in Free Enterprise, the largest international student university organisation, which is led by Dr John Gochenouer, professor at Southwest Minnesota State University, trained the vendors in best practices of food handling and preparation.
Red Stripe proud
Red Stripe's head of corporate relations, Marguerite Cremin, said the company was proud to be associated with one of Jamaica's landmark rest stops.
"There are 30 shops at the Faith's Pen Rest Stop and that translates to more than 30 families that make their livelihood selling food at this location and we saw this as a great opportunity to encourage entrepreneurship and improve the vendors' skill level so they can deliver a sustainable food and beverage business," said Cremin.
"Red Stripe has been a source of inspiration for us," added Angelo Graham, president of the Faith's Pen Rest Stop Vendors' Association.
"They are always there for us for things like painting and helping out with our garbage collection. I must also thank the students (from Southwest Minnesota State University). They brought us aprons and taught us food preparation and food handling. They also set up a website for us and gave us a computer so we can go on the Internet."
Also participating in the Faith's Pen relaunch last Friday was member of parliament for the area, Lisa Hanna.
"This means a tremendous amount ... and we're touched because Faith's Pen has been such an icon in the constituency," said Hanna.
"People both locally and internationally have come to know Faith's Pen as a place that serves good food and what real, good Jamaican living is all about. The vendors have been taught how to better price their foods and how to turn it into a true rest stop where tourists and locals can now sit down and enjoy the atmosphere and we're very pleased," added Hanna.