Minister of Health and National Insurance Senator Dr. Bernard J. Nottage was on Grand Bahama this past weekend to officially open Jamaica Bahama Imports' (JBI) new office and warehouse facility. A long-time friend of JBI Proprietor Winston Pinnock, the minister described him as a determined, creative and industrious Bahamian, which he said are very important characteristics to have if we wish to build a strong economy. "This event is special to me because I have a lot of respect for Mr. Pinnock," Dr. Nottage said. "Having watched the evolution of his dream and to be here to celebrate its realization is tremendously satisfying for me."
Jamaica Bahama Imports was established back in June 1994 by Mr. Pinnock in Jamaica with about six Jamaican products. The company has since grown from trading primarily Jamaican manufactured goods to being a wholesale grocery distribution company that supplies an estimated 73 grocery items imported from South America, North America, Asia and the Caribbean.In his opening remarks Minister Nottage noted that there have been some 480 successful Bahamian entrepreneurs in the last 20 years."This doesn't sound like a whole lot and so my challenge to you sir (Mr. Pinnock) is to better that because that is what we need, that is what Grand Bahama lacks, that is what economic development in The Bahamas lacks and that is our challenge," he said. "We start where we are and we try to do better. This is a new beginning for you Brother Pinnock and I expect you to do better than you have done in these past five years."
Among the distinguished guests and visitors at the grand opening were President of Expert Brokerage Forrester Carroll, Pastor Wilbur Outten, President of the Port Authority Albert Gray, Operations Manager of Corner Motel Nina Maynard, President of G.B. Chamber of Commerce Dr. Doswell Coakley and Pastor Carol Roache just to name a few."I'm happy today because this is proof positive of what we all know, preach, teach and encourage," Minister Nottage said. "National and sustainable development for this country has to involve Bahamians to its very core. Not only getting jobs but owning our own businesses and compete successfully in the market."He said what so many people fail to accept is that having a successful business often means taking a leap of faith as "Winston and Dahlia did and turning an idea into a well developed business plan."
He encouraged other Bahamians to do as the Pinnocks did and claim their piece of the economic pie. Mr. Pinnock expressed his pleasure in his achievements thus far and says he hopes to do a lot more."We started out supplying mom and pop stores but we now supply all major retail food stores in The Bahamas, which made up a part of our approximately 400 stores," he said.
Noting that many of their products like JBI Pigeon Peas with Coconut Milk, Coconut Water, JBI Coconut Milk and JBI Corn have become household names, Mr. Pinnock said that they also have become leading sellers world wide.
The programme concluded with the official ribbon cutting as distinguished guests and close supporters gathered near as it was cut to mark the beginning of a new era for Jamaica Bahama Imports.
GRAND OPENING -- Distinguished guests and visitors gathered last Saturday morning for the grand opening of Jamaica Bahama Imports on Oak Street. Pictured from left to right are Forrester Carroll, president of Expert Customs Brokers; Pastor Wilbur Outten, senior pastor of Freeport Bible Church; Albert Gray, president of the Grand Bahama Port Authority; Nina Maynard, operations manager of Corner Motel; Dahlia Pinnock, business administrator; Winston Pinnock, president; Dr. Bernard Nottage, Minister of Health; Dr. Doswell Coakley, president of G.B. Chamber of Commerce; and Pastor Carol Roache, assistant pastor of Freeport Bible Church.