If chocolate tea (hot chocolate), real vanilla or spicy pickle are your thing, then you will love this Jamaican food manufacturer…
Spice Girl Products
The second interview in my SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN! campaign lead me to another inspirational Jamaican woman who is rocking the natural food manufacturing industry with her sensational pickles, natural vanilla and chocolate teas (hot chocolate). Sheryl Muir is the Managing Director and general superwoman of Spice Girl Products a truly authentic Jamaican enterprise that you will want to taste and savour again and again, as all the ingredients are grown right here in Jamaica…..
The Spice Girl Range of products on offer currently includes:
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- Spice Girl’s chocolate tea is made from a selection of seeds from the finest cocoa pods, the seeds are naturally sun-dried for about 7 days to remove the moisture and capture the chocolate flavour, after parching and roasting they are pounded in a mortar with a pestle and formed into Jamaica Spice Girl Chocolate balls. The fabulous kit has three (3) Chocolate balls, Vanilla Bean, Nutmeg and Cinnamon Leaves to create the perfect cup of chocolate tea (hot chocolate).
- They also offer dried vanilla beans (pods) and a natural Vanilla Extract which has no sugar or preservatives, which is “aged” for at least six months before bottling to develop flavour.
- Plus, a Vegetable Pickle that contains scotch bonnet peppers, carrots, onions, cucumber, pimento seeds and vinegar, which can be enjoyed with fish, sardines, pork or poultry for a vibrant and tasty condiment.
Did you know?
Vanilla beans are natural fruit from vining orchid vanilla Planifolia Andrews, the plant produces flowers after the first three years and annually thereafter. The flowering period last for about five (5) months of the year, each flower survives for only eight hours and must be hand pollinated within this time to make sure a bean which stays to the vine for about nine months to achieve maturity. Beans are thereafter naturally sun cured and conditioned to achieve the Worlds “Supreme Vanilla Bean From Jamaica”.
My Interview with Sheryl Muir of Spice Girl Products gave an insight of what manufacturing Jamaican food is all about…
1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?
I am Sheryl Muir, my primary place of residence is Kingston Jamaica and I am the founder and Managing Director of Spice Girl Products.
2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?
Spice Girl Products was established as a sole trader operation in April 2010.The genesis of the company reflected a desire and response to my training and courses at the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) where I pursued studies in Business Administration, and Tourism & Hospitality.
3. Tell me about your typical working day?
My typical day starts at 5 a.m and revolves around my family and organizing my business. I am the mother of two girls ages eight and nine years old. After feeding, preparing and taking them for school I become immersed in any of the following activities depending on appointments or schedules. Visiting the country to arrange raw material supplies and check on happenings at the vanillary, actual manufacture of products, packaging, labelling, preparing orders, delivering products or instructing deliveries, meeting with clients, graphic artist, packaging suppliers or, checking on in store displays and sometimes facilitating in store sampling, promotion and banking and other financial issues. These activities must be completed by 3 p.m when it becomes time for collecting the girls, seeing to their extra curricular activities and feeding, supervising homework, spending some quality time and seeing them off to bed by 8pm. My administrative and computer time begins there after and I am usually in bed by 10:00p.m with some t.v. time until sleep takes over.
4. What is your company philosophy?
Quality product, Quality Service.
5. Where is your Head Office based and do you manufacture / produce your products in Jamaica?
Spice Girl primary raw materials are produced at the Elan Farms in Hope Bay Portland, Woodside in St.Mary. Packaging, quality control and distribution is executed in Kingston.
6. Do you use Jamaican raw materials in your products?
Raw materials used in Spice Girl Products are locally produced.
7. Are you Jamaican?
I was born in St.Elizabeth, Jamaica.
8. Tell me your top 3 likes and dislikes about Jamaica?
My three likes about Jamaica are:
- Perceived potential of the country to provide a truly rewarding experience.
- The moderate climatic conditions of the country throughout the year.
- Potential friendly tourism destination.
My three dislikes are
- Visionless politicians who are clueless to what is required to facilitate business development.
- The high crime rate and praedial larceny.
- Unnecessary bureaucracy and lack of developmental opportunity to promote productive enterprise.
9. What new company plans and visions are you working on?
For 2013 we intend to launch our Vanilla flavoured teas and open the Spice Girl farm tours in conjunction with Elan Farms in Hope Bay Portland for sometime in July.
10. What is your personal favourite product that you make and why?
Natural Vanilla Extract from the “Supreme Beans” produced at Elan Farms. We hope to educate Jamaicans and international health conscious persons to go easy on the artificial vanilla and start using natural vanilla.
11. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model?
My inspiration is definitely my girls, they have been my support team through thick and thin.
12. Where can we buy your products in Jamaica and overseas?
Spice Girl Products can be found in the Mobay Airport, thirty-two supermarket outlets and online @ www.spicegirlproducts.com
13. How do you love to spend your free time in Jamaica?
Free time ….Visiting new and interesting adventures or attractions around the country.
14. If you could be Prime Minister of Jamaica for a day, what would you do?
The country has been in degradation for too long, for one day to be effective or meaningful, however, it is of primary importance for the Prime Minister to recognise the importance of National Empowerment of the masses not through marginal programs but through programs that are sustainable and encourage, production, consumption and export. The packaging and marketing of Jamaica as a tourism product is seen by us to be the only true solution to Jamaica’s’ economic and by extension crime and other problems….
15. Which Jamaican, dead or alive, do you feel made the biggest contribution to Jamaica and why?
I believe Norman Manley made a significant contribution with his vision for community development and Edward Seaga has made a good try for cultural awareness.
16. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young Jamaicans to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be?
Stay true to yourself, perseverance and dedication despite the obstacles and definitely learn to accept changes wherever necessary. Must gain knowledge in their respective field and surround themselves with positive people that will always encourage and support them.
17. If you could change jobs, what would you do?
I’ve asked myself this question many times…………but definitely being paid to travel to other countries and learn more about their culture, food, attractions and adventures (Professional Tourist).
18. Apart from your own company, what is your favourite Jamaican company and why?
Grace Foods…..They had a vision and a plan and they execute it as a family……They are an inspiration to many young entrepreneurs.
19. What do you believe contributes most to your company’s ongoing success?
Quality products, good service and the support of loyal customers, well wishers and immediate family.
20. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?
Our unique products. There are no other commercial vanillaries in the English-speaking Caribbean, United States, Canada or Europe.
21. How do you believe we as a nation can help to build Jamaica?
As stated earlier massive Jamaica packaging and tourism promotion.To achieve this in a meaningful way we need to change the mindset of our people to move away from the hand out mentality. Unfortunately, our current crop of politicians on all sides of the aisle seem to lack the moral or entrepreneurial ability to lead such a charge. We must be contented with tiny steps until…….
22. What are your aspirations for Jamaica?
To have a peaceful, welcoming and productive country where the masses are truly independent and empowered.
23. What are your thoughts on the ‘SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN!’ post on Sweet Jamaica’s blog?
Your concept is very much in keeping with the principle of packaging Jamaica for consumption….We wholeheartedly ” Support Jamaica Buy Jamaica” Concept.
Thanks Sheryl it was a pleasure interviewing you…. anytime you need a food sampler ‘hail me up!’
Want to learn more, buy something or get in touch with Spice Girl Products you can do it here:
Mailing Address: Woodside, Pear Tree Grove, St Mary, Jamaica.
Please contact us at any of the following email address:
Spice Girl Products
“Spice for Life!”