Strong interest shown in new business venture
Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer
JEFFREY TOWN, St Mary:ENJOYING ROASTED breadfruit out of season usually involves a great deal of preparatory work. After roasting, there is the peeling and cutting out the 'heart' and slicing, ensuring that it is cooled and properly packaged in foil for its extended stay in the refrigerator.
Now, a local company based in Spring Garden, Buff Bay, Portland, - which natives insist is home of the tastiest 'Yellow Heart' breadfruit - has taken on all the hard work of enjoying roast breadfruit. Trevor Willis, a co-partner in Diamond Ridge Processors, was at the recent St Mary Breadfruit Festival promoting the company's vacuum-packaged offering. The one-pound package of about nine slices made for much easier handling on the way back to Kingston than would a green or roasted breadfruit, with no worry about it rolling about in the vehicle.
Preparation is simple. Cut open the package and pop the slices into the microwave for about a minute, or move from the package, straight to the frying pan, depending, of course, on your taste, and you have roasted breadfruit with all the flavour and none of the bother.
While they have the technology to produce the package, which can be placed directly in the microwave for reheating, Willis pointed out that it would be more expensive.
Endorsed by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica and the Scientific Research Council, the Diamond Ridge package enjoys a 30-day refrigerated shelf life, which can go up to 60 days if it is frozen. Demand is growing. Business people from the United States, Canada, and England have shown an interest in importing the product, with a number of local hotels and supermarkets looking to carry the line.
It is sweet reward, considering the teething pains the company continues to feel, and the difficulties experienced in getting financial institutions to provide assistance.
Willis admitted: "It's unfortunate to say this, but the lending institutions are not very favourable to new businesses and the requirements are very stringent. It's very, very difficult to get funding to start up business."
Still, he was optimistic that talks with the Bank of Nova Scotia would lead to a much-needed capital injection, which would help the company meet the anticipated growth in demand for its product.
"We can also do the vacuum-packed whole breadfruit, quarter, or half to meet demand; or if you want raw breadfruit, we vacuum that also. There are many other products that the breadfruit can be used for, but we are specialising in this product for the time being," Willis shared.
To learn more about this product, you may contact Diamond Ridge Processors by calling 876-431-5271/880-0213, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org