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Best Dressed assists with jerk business

Published:Wednesday | August 5, 2015 | 11:36 AM

PORTMORE, St Catherine:

Thirty persons drawn from community-based organisations in Portmore were given an opportunity to start their own jerk chicken business last Tuesday when they were presented with custom-built jerk carts.

The occasion was the official handover of 30 jerk carts designed by the council and sponsored by Best Dressed Chicken, who joined with the Portmore Municipal Council in its effort to promote the spirit of business and entrepreneurship as a means of empowering unemployed skilled persons in the municipality.

The carts, approved by the St Catherine Health Department, are equipped with jerk drums, wastewater sink and small, makeshift freshwater tanks. They will be operated by individual members of the newly formed Portmore Jerk Vendors Association.

Avadaugn Sinclair, Best Dressed Chicken marketing manager, told Rural Xpress that what is being witnessed is a partnership between the municipality and the chicken company of almost 60 years.

"Our brand, as you noticed, is displayed on everyone of the carts, our brand has been around for almost 60 years, so when we partnered with anybody we want to ensure that our brand will be associated with the best of everything," Sinclair stated, adding that partnering with the Municipal Council, she is confident that quality will be maintained.

"This is the first time that Best Dressed is getting involved in this kind of venture, one that we hope will be the start of a new initiative to empower persons with entrepreneurial mindsets," she continued.


Sinclair revealed that what is on display is private and public sector working together to create businessmen and employment by regularising the jerk chicken business that Portmore is renowned for.

Meanwhile, president of the Portmore Jerk Vendors Association, Hastings Flower Smith, speaking on behalf of the organisation, said she is thankful to the Municipal Council and Best Dressed Chicken.

"We want to raise the standard of jerk vending islandwide, so rolling out this initiative in this professional way will pave the way for insisting on high standards," she told Rural Xpress.

She said the challenge for the organisation going forward is not only to insist on high standards, but to ensure that quality is maintained at all levels of the trade.

"By sponsoring these jerk carts, Best Dressed has demonstrated the level to which we have to take this business of jerking chickens, we will have to reach that bar," Flower Smith said.

Acting Mayor of Portmore Leon Thomas said the whole endeavour is founded on standards.

"Portmore is the jerk city of Jamaica and our efforts are to ensure that these skilled persons get a chance to own their own business," Thomas said.

According to him, people visiting Portmore must be able to stop and feel comfortable to eat a piece of jerk, knowing that the vendors are upholding national health standards.