Wednesday, November 25, 2015
CONTINENTAL Baking Company Foundation’s inaugural expo for small and medium-sized manufacturers has been fully subscribed, with a total of 52 entities and individuals confirming their participation.
“We have had such an overwhelming response, and even now our phones are ringing off the hook with persons still interested in being a part of this event,” Tiffany Wong, who is in charge of special projects at Continental Baking Company, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Conceptualised by Continental Baking Company’s Chairman and Managing Director Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson, the all-day event, named ‘A Jamaican Made Christmas’, is scheduled for next Sunday and Monday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
Hendrickson said his aim in staging the event is to help small and medium-sized businesses get exposure, sales of Jamaican products for the festive season, and eventually get to the stage of exporting their products overseas.
“I’m trying to get Jamaican manufacturing on the map, and the small and medium sectors represent a real opportunity for the country to grow,” Hendrickson had told the Observer in an earlier interview.
The exhibitors range from manufacturers of home and lifestyle products to producers of craft and food items, including snacks.
Yesterday, Wong said that CIBC FirstCaribbean will be providing the event with point-of-sale terminals at five payment stations throughout the venue.
“We don’t want any of our exhibitors to miss the sale, so we are ensuring we have all angles covered as it relates to modes of payment,” Wong explained.
“Additionally, we are rolling out our social media promotions this week, and will be giving away some amazing prizes that our participants have willingly contributed. People can stay tuned to National Bakery’s Facebook page — facebook.com/nationalbakingcompany — as well as the Jamaican Made Christmas Instagram page, @jamaicanmadechristmas, for updates on the event,” she added.
Wong also said that chefs will be doing demonstrations throughout the course of each day.
The exhibitors have been asked to pay a commitment fee, which Hendrickson said will be refunded at the end of the expo.
“It’s not our intention to have any of these folks have the expense of exhibiting, but I want a commitment,” Hendrickson had explained earlier. “I don’t want to say, ‘you can have this space’, and you don’t show up and someone else loses the opportunity. You come, you exhibit for two days, and we draw that cheque right back to you.”
The fee is waived for a few charities, such as Alpha Boys’ Home, Mustard Seed Communities, the Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities, and the Step Centre.
Admission to the expo is free.