St Ann entrepreneur wants to 'Lively Up Your Food'
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
OCHO RIOS, St Ann:THERE IS an interesting story behind the name Coco Browns, but with the tag line 'Lively up your Food', the flavour of Coco Browns gourmet sauces is enough to keep everyone focused on the product.
And for husband and wife team Michael and Jennifer Movery, there are new horizons to conquer.
The Coco Browns brand started in 2005 when the couple opened a coffee shop of the same name in Ocho Rios. When the focus shifted, it was to gourmet sauces, the first of which was Coco Browns Gourmet Scotch Bonnet Sauce. On the occasion of the second anniversary, they have added another: the Spicy Pineapple Sauce.
"Our sauce business actually started within the coffee shop where my wife suggested that I try and make my own sauce," said managing director of Ratatouille Limited, owner of the Coco Browns brand, Michael Movery.
"We basically played with recipes here and there, and then we did tasting. So we made the sauce, it had no label. Customers liked it and decided that they wanted to buy it without the label at first. Later, we made a decision to go and seek proper advice, having it certified, going to the proper agencies, and getting the necessary input on how to move forward."
Having done that, the first batch of sauce was placed on the market in March 2011. As in most new businesses where there is a lot of competition, it wasn't easy, but the Moverys persevered.
"We worked hard at labelling, branding, trying to get the right packaging to appeal to the clientele. So it has that 'wow' factor. And the response has been pretty good.
"The first sauce we had was our gourmet Scotch bonnet sauce, with Scotch bonnet, herbs, and spices, blended. Great flavour! The second one, which we did on March 1, is the Spicy Pineapple sauce. We are trying our utmost to support our local farmers when it comes to ingredients for our products."
Now, after two years of laying the groundwork and establishing the brand, the company is getting set to expand.
"We're looking to expand into new markets - the USA and Europe. Currently, we're in discussions with a distributor for London, which will be our first overseas market. We're looking at end of March - middle of April to start."
And there are new products being worked on.
"Currently, we are looking at a jerk rub. We have in development barbecue sauce and jerk seasoning, which will be available within the next year. We're doing it slowly but surely."
The sauce is currently available at several outlets in St Ann and across Jamaica, including at Things Jamaican.
As for the name Coco Browns, Movery explained how that came about.
"The name Coco Browns pretty much came out of frustration. When we were setting up the coffee shop, we never had a name for the business, and one night my wife to sleep and woke up the next morning, and said, 'You would not believe it. My grandfather, who died in 1981, came to me and he said, 'I know you're frustrated, but whatever you do, name it Coco Browns and it will be successful'."
They did, even adding a sketch of his photo on the label.
Movery believes this venture will be successful.
"I believe in my product," he told The Gleaner.