British man overcomes bureaucracy, sets up juice business
BRITISH EXPATRIATE and businessman Toussaint Davy, owner of Jamaica Cold Pressed Juices, says he got fed up of being an employee and channelled his living and entrepreneurial mindset to develop his own business.
Since 2016, Davy, the chief juicing officer at his 57 East Street-operated business, has been extracting juices from cane, pineapple, cucumber, carrot, star fruit, tamarind, mango, or anything he can get our hands on.
He told The Gleaner: “I came over here to where the source material was, the sugar cane. I decided to come over from 2016 to take advantage of the fact that the cane is grown here and the cost of the cane compared to ship it in to the UK.”
The former corporate telecoms professional said it took him some time to get to where he is today.
“Running your own business is the one really. It takes a while to get here, but you have to keep working at it. As they say, if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it,” Davy told The Gleaner from his work space.
Jamaica Cold Pressed Juices produces on average 600 litres of cane juice per week, and with his two part-time workers, Davy manages to get the products from ingredient to juice to supermarket shelves.
“We would sell these to the supermarket, and they would do a 250ml bottle for up to around $500, however, because the juice is so sweet, that 250ml will make at least 500ml by the time you dilute it, by the time you add ice, water, or alcohol. It’s a premium drink. As you can see, there is a lot that goes into it,” Davy said.
He told our news team that since the pandemic, he has noticed an uptick in sale of the juices.
“I have found that since the pandemic, we been quite busy selling the turmeric and the beet root. There is a lot of good health benefits associated with the turmeric. It is said to reduce the inflammation on the lungs.”
Davy is sold on quality and, therefore, reiterates that his juices are nutritional, lower cholesterol, good for digestion, high in potassium, and promotes weight loss.
Over the years, Davy, who has family ties in Morant Bay, St Thomas, has been doing different businesses, but according to him, success is inevitable as this one is family-oriented.
“My mom and my dad support me in the business, my brother, my son. Yes, it’s a family business. I work with a Mr Fearon from Clarendon. We take the cane from his field, the rum, or factory cane. It’s a lot sweeter than the cane at the market. It’s four or five points higher than the market cane you get from Coronation or Papine Market. It’s exceptionally sweet,” Davy said.
The foreigner could not help but overcome the bureaucracy associated with doing business in Jamaica, an aspect that he documents and holds as the line between existence and survival.
He insists that for him, each government agency, though good, has its challenges, but once anyone gets past the bureaucracy – which was his biggest limitation – things can work out.
Davy said: “Each government agency, if you are going to a government agency to do work, you are willingly giving up your time and energy, which you are never going to get back. Whether Bureau of Standards, MICAF (Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries), or Scientific Research Council, all great companies, all great people, but as a foreigner, you have to learn how to navigate and how to speak to the different people to get what you want.”
He credits the people as the best thing in doing business in Jamaica.
“They are very receptive. They like to see you doing something that is old but new. Everyone knows the sugar cane man on the corner, whatever town or city in Jamaica. We (however) take our time and peel everything (as opposed to wash),” Davy said.
Expansion plans are on the horizon as he has sought to acquire at least a 2,000 square feet space to be better able to respond to the market.
“We are kind of running out of space here. Expansion, the next stage, would be a packing house situation. So I would be looking for anything over 2,000 square feet. So I could have the can in one space and everything else, the production of it, in the next,” Davy told The Gleaner.
He told our news team that finding factory space in Jamaica is extremely difficult.
“We been working, looking for the last six months, looking what Factories Corporation of Jamaica has to offer, and I am still looking as we get busier supplying supermarket chains,” he said.
The juices are currently available at Hi-Lo Barbican, Portmore, Spanish Town, Liguanea, and Cross Roads.