Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
Isle Chix Limited has diversified its operations and has now added a smoked-flavoured cornish-style chicklet for the local and international market. In true Jamaican style, the pound-and-a-half chicklets are marinated in jerk seasoning for 10 days, smoked and vacuum-packed.
According to Alexx Antaeus, managing director of Isle Chix Limited, the main purpose for producing the smoked chicklets is for export. "We have been in negotiations with distributors in South East Asia, and we are also exploring the Caribbean region. We have put on hold exporting to the United States as there is much more work to be done there," Antaeus said.
Antaeus said they have had many orders for the product and do not want to run into a situation where they are left with no stock. "The United States is a big market and if we are unable to meet the demand at this time, they will not want to order with us again," Antaeus said.
The enterprise is currently rearing over 50,000 chicklets and is a business model that is reaping benefits and catching on with the Jamaican consumer. There are more than 2,000 chicklets produced each week, and the smoking component is done at the Scientific Research Council (SRC).
"The SRC plays an important role and has been working within our budget. Sometimes government agencies in Jamaica are viewed negatively, but they have been with us as a small business entity," Antaeus said.
Budding entrepreneur Lloyd Sterling is the creator of the authentic, multipurpose spicy Jamaican jerk sauce distributed under the Matie Sauce brand name and dubbed Guavaliciously Irie that is used to marinate the smoked chicklets.
Sterling said the smoked chicklets have been available on the menu of a number of restaurants prior to the launch. He said, "The mix is ideal and when persons want to impress their guests, instead of providing shrimp, lobster or lamb, they can offer a smoked chicklet."
The Isle Chix brand will be marketed with four other Jamaican products in these markets. The five will be branded as 'Jamaica's Best Five' and include Rum Fire rum, Excelsior Water Crackers, Wallenford Coffee and Guavaliciously Irie Matie Sauce.