Now that local ice cream brand Creamery Novelties has sent off its first shipment to Antigua, co-CEO John Hadad has set his sights on markets in Dominica, Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica and St. Lucia by the first quarter of 2019.
After almost seven months in production and encouraged by the positive response from local consumers, Hadad announced plans to expand the company’s range to include ice lollies, ice milk, cone products and cup products.
He said Creamery Novelties, a member of the Hadco Group, was created out of a desire for change and to generate foreign exchange through its proprietary brand. By this time next year, he announced, the plan is to introduce six extra flavours in addition to the current four. The company is also targeting extra-regional markets in Latin and North America.
Hadad expressed concern about the recent shutdown of state energy company Petrotrin.
“For us, it is very sad to see so many workers released and an organization go down in one fell swoop, but I think we all saw it coming,” he said.
“I think there is going to be an adjustment period and, yes, we may see the effects in the economy in the short term, but in the two to three years or long-term period there will be an adjustment and I think that those people will have jobs in different areas.”
Hadad said Hadco is optimistic about T&T’s future and “our resilience as a people and the ability to adapt and change.”
He added: “We do grumble a lot, we complain, we say a lot of things at the time but at the end of it if you look at it with history . . . there are inflexion points and we’ve adapted accordingly.”
Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, who was on hand to congratulate officials of the company on their first export, said: “You took a risk and you have moved into the area of manufacturing which is not an easy thing. It brings great joy and great return, because of the value added, notwithstanding, it required some risk to do it.”
She also praised the efforts of exporTT with regulatory requirements to ship the products out of T&T.
“This is a key component of diversification, the expansion of the manufacturing sector,” the minister said.