Fri | Jun 18, 2021

Taste Jamaica bridging the gap in North America

Delivering home-made Jamaican snacks and products to diaspora

Published:Thursday | May 20, 2021 | 12:09 AMJonielle Daley/Staff Reporter
Ainsley Deer, founder of Taste Jamaica.
Ainsley Deer, founder of Taste Jamaica.

Jamaicans in the diaspora daydreaming of home-made snacks now have more options, thanks to Ainsley Deer, founder of Taste Jamaica.

“Taste Jamaica is a Canadian business that delivers the excellent taste of authentic Jamaican treats to a customer’s household anywhere in North America,” the Kingston-born Deer told Food of the Canada-based delivery and distribution company.

He said the business idea for Taste Jamaica materialised after he took the time to try new things after college.

Deer, who attended Florida International University on a football scholarship in 2005, majored in business management and minored in marketing and tourism, and wanted to carry on the torch of entrepreneurship that burns in his family.

Playing semi-professional soccer took him from Florida to Toronto, Canada, in 2009.

“I was working at a casino between 2010 to 2018 because I just needed to do something else; I just felt deep down in myself that I just needed to do some type of entrepreneurship,” he said.

Not knowing what that was at the time, he decided to juggle different types of jobs, “I didn’t even know how to do flooring, but I tried that.”

“That’s when I had stumbled upon a colleague of mine that was telling me about deliveries and pharmaceuticals,” he shared, noting that moment as the start of his Taste Jamaica journey.

He decided to give the industry a try and later stepped out into launching his own delivery and logistics company after being robbed by his former boss.

“It was a blessing in disguise. That really was a turning point,” he believes.

After just four months working in the field, Deer felt empowered to launch out on his own because he had already realised the great need for these services.

“Jamaica is replete with household name manufacturers that are eager to showcase their much-touted products to the North American and European markets. Taste Jamaica aims to bridge this gap so that customers are able to re-enact or experience the sensation of eating quality treats on a beach or just casually vybing on their patio,” shared the St George’s College old boy.

The company delivers novelty Jamaican snacks such as Buccaneer Pocket Size Rum Cakes (fruit, coconut, and original flavours) and packaged one-pound black cakes.

They have partnered with Honey Bun Limited, Mother’s Jamaica, and Devon House Bakery so far to import their signature products to Canada, but promise to expand their inventory on their online marketplace, www.tasteja.ca.

lifestyle@gleanerjm.com