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We’re all about our blue, yellow and green throughout the month of October. We anticipate the days when we can come out in our colours and proudly wave the national flag and declare that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the piece of rock in the Caribbean Sea that we are glad to call home. This year after the annual Independence Day parade we had even more activities through which we could express our Vincy pride thanks to Invest SVG. The Everything Vincy Exhibition held at the E.T Joshua Airport over a three day period (October 27th-29th), was the place to be during the independence weekend. This new initiative is aimed at highlighting the products and services that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to offer and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit as we continue on in nation building. Training workshops were also offered to the business owners who took part in the exhibition to gain knowledge on topics such as customer service and marketing which equips the business owners with tools that would help them take their businesses to the next level. This initiative is one that we are happy to see so well executed and the patrons are excited to attend in the coming years as it gets bigger and better. This is part 2 of the article where we bring you a little insight on some of the exhibitors and their products. If you haven’t read part 1 as yet, click here to view it!
Brio Ché is the brainchild of Bernadette Warren (pictured above) who many may know as Camille. They provide a line of luxury health and beauty products which inlude virgin coconut oil, body scrubs, lotions, lips balms, foot soaks, soy scented candles and massage oils. After looking at the list of products offered by Brio Ché, you’ll notice that just about everything has coconut in it and here’s why. Bernadette was raised primarily by her grandmother and coconut was a huge part of how she earned a living. Along with selling vegetables, she would make and sell coconut snacks and coconut oil and the profits allowed her to provide for Bernadette. She also credits coconut oil as the reason she’s able to stay in good health as she would consume it and use in her hair and on her skin. When Bernadette started out making concoctions to soothe her own and her husband’s skin conditions, she did some research and she knew coconut oil had to be a part of it. The end products were all natural, organic and infused with herbs and healing plants. After they experienced how well the products worked for them and received great reviews from family and friends, she officially registered the Brio Ché business in 2013. The effort that goes into producing such a health conscious yet aesthetically appealing line of products is apparent even in the packaging (which Bernadette shares she plans to make even more eco-friendly). Very soon, you might be able to watch your purchases being made from start to finish; Ms. Warren has high hopes for the next phase of her business which could include a storefront with designated production and retail areas.
Since 1985, Nzimbu Browne has created art that thoroughly reflects the rhythm of Vincentian living. Our history, culture, traditions and landscapes are so eloquently expressed through collages made from what some would consider to be waste. “I take it up and add some intelligence into it” he said as he explained that dried banana leaves and coconut shells are his choice of medium. In addition to his beautiful collages, he also does tie-dye and makes drums. He refers to his creativity as his survival kit as this has been his way of earning a living for over 30 years and his passion and determination shines through in his work ethic. Browne expressed a desire to be on an international market to have his work appreciated and purchased by millions of people and says he’s ready and willing to put in the hard work that this will take.
Melissa Ashton’s Jewelry making talent is actually the gift she prayed for and she’s passionate about putting her blessing to good use. When she made her first pair of earrings she used her teeth to do what her hands couldn’t. Fortunately, her sister saw her need and bought her a pair of pliers which she still uses to this day. She attributes her success thus far to the fact that her aim is to make her customers happy which in turn gives her the greatest feeling of fulfillment. At the moment she makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, beaded key-chains and has just started dabbling in the production of scented candles. She hopes to eventually have a storefront where she sells not only her jewelry but glass beads and the findings and components that are involved in the craft. She’s eager to continue building her business and see her small beginnings blossom into great achievements.
If you’re an avid snacker, chances are you’ve seen and probably buy several Cyrus Snacks. After retiring from her day job, in 2008 proud owner Betty Cyrus started making plantain chips for sale. Since then, sweet potato, breadfruit, spicy banana, eddoe and sweet cassava chips have been added to the line of snacks offered. It started out as her way of making use of the food items that she saw would go to waste. It has now blossomed into a substantial business that makes the snacks many Vincentians love to munch on. Betty’s products can be found in almost all of our major supermarkets but she hopes to eventually develop the demand necessary to export her snacks.
Michelle Bacchus Barbour the talent behind tasty creations of Me-Shelli Unique started out as a seamstress. Over ten years ago, she learnt the basics of baking from a friend and went on to try out new things to create cakes and cookies as requested by friends and family. She incorporated these two skills as well as her crafting abilities into a venture that would provide a one of a kind wedding package. This package included custom clothing for the bridal party, handmade bouquets and of course, she could provide the wedding cake. Over time, she became more renowned for her baking than her sewing and so she has decided to stick with it.
The Richmond Vale Academy’s attendance was a timely reminder of the role we play in global warming and climate change. This organization has researched and taught lessons on climate change and initiated projects that include beach cleanups, tree planting and setting up model gardens. They also produce informative radio and television programs and hold open days to help spread their message. The team was eager to share flyers and have insightful conversations with the attendees in hopes that more of us will become Climate Activists and fight to make our country more energy, food and disaster secure. Climate change is real and we have to work together to build a nation that can withstand and overcome its effects.
The exhbitors mentioned are only a sample of what the Everything Vincy Exhibtion had to offer. Some of the other businesses that attended the event included Immense Bags, Link Up, Erica’s Country Style, Escape Health and Day Spa, Fanfare Events, Searles Agro Products, Mudulla Propagation, East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) and so much more. We can’t wait for next year’s Exhibition!
If you haven’t read part 1 as yet, click here to view it!
Photos by Ricky Hill, exclusively for Express Vinci®
© 2016. All rights reserved
As I started to write this memoir of a sort, I had to set the laptop down quickly and make a bee-line to the oven. Frantic that my cake was burnt, Whew ! It’s Mother’s day, which means it’s tea party day.
In Vincy, tea parties are an inherent part of Mother’s day and School fair culture. The phone is ringing off the hook for my mom, and sadly to say I haven’t given her a hug and a kiss yet because I’m caught up making sure the goodies she assigned for me to make are done for her event of the year- Women’s League Mother’s Day Tea !
My memories of this annual activity which is hosted by our Women’s League and by extension, the ladies of the congregation; is that it is a splendid opportunity to get our church and our community together, and display the culinary skills and talents of its members. My mom loves to see little girl in a pretty dresses, So my god-sister and I would flaunt our own pretty dresses on these sunny Sunday May afternoons, showcasing our best moves with then skinny frames…..Applause ! Applause !
As I got older, I retired from modeling but continue to volunteer for different roles. within the past years, I have been expressing myself in the kitchen and my mother who is an active member of the league has been taking the opportunity to utilize my new kinship with the kitchen for her group’s benefit.
Our women’s league, I think is under appreciated because they contribute to our church in such a significant way.This brings us to today, Mother’s Day, 2017. A few days ago, my mother declared that she wanted mini-quiches on the menu. I had no choice but bow to her wish, so here I am preparing mini-quiches with spinach. I added a vanilla cake topped with coconut and almond.
Earlier this year we lost one of our church members who for years had offered his well manicured property as the venue for our annual affair. So because of this, the venue has since changed, but the cause remains the same.
This fundraising social is in celebration of the women who have sacrificed for the children in their care. I know my mommy has gone above and beyond for her family and for this, her gift today is this article. Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, who made Saturday afternoon bread-making fun, because she thought one is never too young to be acquainted with the kitchen. Undoubtedly, I love my Mommy !
Article and Photographs submitted by Roselle Solomon.
Although Mother’s Day 2017 has passed, we hope that this post will warm the hearts of all our mothers out there who strive daily to add a little bit of sunshine to the lives of children in their care and their communities. It’s never too late to say thank you!
© 2017. All rights reserved.
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My first memory of Christmas was when we lived in Layou, that coastal village town on the south western tip of St. Vincent. We lived in a two-storied house that was fashionable at that time: made of concrete downstairs and a wooden upstairs. It was located just around the bend past that delicate little stone-wall church in the corner as you entered the village from the Kingstown direction. Our neighbours were the Palmers.
Mommy had boiled the picnic ham, then baked it in the outside drum-oven; the ham was golden brown with cloves stuck artfully into its tender skin. My big brother was tasked with taking it upstairs, having to walk up the flight of concrete stairs. He might have tried to pick a piece of the loose meat, or maybe he was overwhelmed by the honour bestowed upon him; either way, the next I remember, we all squealed with horror and anger, as the dainty ham came crushing down to the sandy ground.
There is a gap in my memory in regards to the rest of that day, but we must have all recovered well from the trauma of the tumbling ham; because the next I remember, was me lying in bed, feeling very full as my mother gently massaged my tummy with a feather. She sang a verse that I recall up to this day:
“Kerry belly swell, Kerry belly swell,”
There was little more to the song; but I understood that the intention was to relieve my indigestion that had come about due to overeating and I assume, over drinking.
I have had the pleasure of singing the ‘Belly Swell’ Song for my own daughters, when they too, as little girls had fallen captive to the indulgence of the Vincentian Christmas Lunch/Dinner and had ended up with distended tummies.
Yet, to do otherwise is simply not considered appropriate at Christmas: even for those of us who are now mature and have transformed from the skinniness of childhood and early adulthood, to a more almost rotund body stature.
We may vow to cut down on our portion sizes, but there are simply too many savoury dishes to be sampled; then the Fruit Cake, Black Cake, Sorrel, Ginger-beer; Red Wine, Black Wine, and all the other culinary delights which tempt our appetites, enticing us to try just a little bit of this and a little sip of that.
It is what it is, and so in spite of breaking all my preset dietary rules for Christmas 2016, I’m thankful for the feelings of pride that the season brings to SVG. This has been a challenging year for many of our citizens, and so we at take this opportunity to wish all a Blessed, Peaceful, and Prosperous 2017.
Photos by Roselle Solomon exclusively for Express Vinci®.
© 2016. All rights reserved.
Chill’n celebrates its two year anniversary! Establishing and sustaining a restaurant is no small feat but the Staff and management of Chill’n have created the ultimate ”Oasis in the middle of the desert” with this restaurant. It’s the spot that allows you to relax and recharge amongst the hustle and bustle of Kingstown. This is often the hang out spot of quite a few big names such as Mia and Benjai, but it’s just as suitable for the everyday average Joe.
Chill’n can be considered the rebirth of The Bounty restaurant. The Bounty had existed for about 40 years and had become an integral part of the restaurant scene in Kingstown, so when Jacqueline and Kevin Lyttle heard about its closing, they decided to open ‘Chill’n at The Bounty’ (Chill’n for short) within the same walls, as a way to carry on the legacy with a modern twist. With this revamp, they wanted to create a place that offered a new and unique aura for customers while giving them the amenities to stay connected with friends or business partners should they need to do so.
Additionally, they wanted to assist in developing the hospitality industry in St. Vincent by creating employment especially for young culinary professionals filled with potential, but who may not have years of experience under their belt as yet.
The Chill’n brand is one that is associated with positive and meaningful movements. Over the years Chill’n has collaborated with several organizations such as the National Heritage Committee and The Leave out Violence in SVG Charity. They have recognized and fully embraced the role they play in making positive changes in our wider society.
Chill’n is known for its burgers, pizzas and hot lunches when it comes to food, and its signature cocktails when it comes to drinks. They had several promotions and events that included their customers’ favorite items to celebrate their two year anniversary. On the 8th of December, which was the official date, they offered customers complimentary glasses of wine and cheesecake with their meals. Another way they celebrated was with the Cocktails and Conversations networking event, where they had specials on drinks and offered customers free makeovers, make-up consultations and pampering sessions compliments Auldine’s Cosmetics: ‘Glitz and Glam’.
They held their 12 days of Christmas promotion for 12 days leading up to the 23rd of December; when customers had opportunities to win gifts and vouchers, and receive discounts on meals and drinks. This was done through competitions on their Facebook page, raffles and even interactive and fun events like Christmas Karaoke. Each purchase gave a customer an entry to a grand prize draw, which included cases of drinks, Chill’n’s very own condiments, Ponche de Crème, and other rewards.
Chill’n would not be the same without its staff and its customers. Therefore, they place a lot of value on developing the skills of their workers so that they can effectively deliver the high quality service that their customers deserve. They implement in-house and external training for the staff and often include their loyal customers in the tastings during these training sessions.
Exceptional members of staff have been created through this method, two of whom are Devette Morris and Kenroy Joseph. Devette has been on staff for about five months and has already worked her way up to a supervisor position. She started as a waitress with little to no experience in the restaurant world but through hard work and development in training, she quickly became a customer favourite and has earned the respect of those around her. She is polite and warm, and goes above and beyond to meet the needs of her customers.
Kenroy Joseph, the Pizza Chef, has been on staff for 11 months. He was initially hired to do delivery. They gave him the opportunity one night to make pizzas and he has been doing it ever since. He credits the staff training and his artistic nature for his success, as he has been able to grow and develop the skills necessary to upkeep the high standard that is required of the employees.
The management and staff of Chill’n takes this opportunity to express gratitude for their supporters:
“We want to thank all of the customers who have been supporting Chill’n from day one; the people who keep coming and coming and also the new ones. Even persons who have had a bad experience in the past, we’re reaching out to those people as well…All of the business community who have collaborated with Chill’n whenever there was any type of promotion, we want to say a big thank you to you!” – Candice Sealey, Manager of Ignite Consulting http://www.facebook.com/igniteresults/, and member of the Management team at Chill’n Restaurant.
Visitors and locals alike can look forward to dining and entertainment of international proportions, with the opening of the newest business venture on the scene; Signature Restaurant, Lounge and Event Centre.
The facility, which is the brain child of local entrepreneur Carlos Williams, is nestled in the heart of the Arnos Vale entertainment and dining district, just off the Vigie Highway, and promises to give those who enter, an experience that they would be hard pressed to find anywhere else on the island, thanks to its ambience, food, drinks and service that are unmatched.
Signature officially opened its doors on Wednesday October 26th, and has since been receiving rave reviews from the patrons who turned up in their numbers to see and taste for themselves, what others have since been talking about.
Patrons can select from the main enclosed dining and lounge area, where a trained and experienced staff is ready and waiting to serve, or they can choose from three outdoor spots, including a gazebo, all located around a sparkling swimming pool, which changes color as the night draws in.
For a more private setting, Signature offers a VIP section, which has its own balcony overlooking the swimming pool and the other amenities that are located on the outside.
This VIP area can hold more than 20 persons comfortably, and offers an ambience that is unrivaled locally.
On the outside, there is also a band stand just across from the swimming pool, to facilitate the use of a band or DJ if the need arises, and a change room for performers and entertainers.
Dining will not be the same again after having a meal at Signature.
Patrons can select from the menu a variety of starters, then delve into the various main courses of pastas, red meats and seafood, and then satisfy their sweet tooth with a variety of desserts that are made to the palate’s delight; the selection includes pies, cheesecakes, fruit platters, puddings, and of course, ice creams of all flavors.
If you visit the facility and are not in the eating mood, you are guaranteed to spend some time at the bars, and would delight yourself in the various non alcoholic and alcoholic beverages that are served, including Signature-branded drinks with their special names and tastes.
There is a drink for everyone at Signature.
Signature is available for the hosting of various events, such as wedding receptions, private parties and company dinners, and with the upcoming Christmas season approaching, Signature promises to be the perfect place for private meeting and family occasions.
Persons requiring more information can call 784 456 6518.
There is ample parking, with 24 hour security in place to ease the minds of patrons.
Article and Photos provided by Junior Jarvis. Contact Junior at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2016. All rights reserved.