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Phoenix Kitchen opens new branch in Yambou

Phoenix Kitchen opens new branch in Yambou

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Phoenix Kitchen has opened a new branch, which will serve mainly local dishes and provide cold storage services for farmers.

The facility, Phoenix Agro Value Added Centre, located at Yambou, was opened last Sunday, during a ceremony at which proprietor Leon ‘Bigger Bigs’ Samuel was hailed as an inspiration.

Located on the former site of the Bigger Trucking and Blocks Making company, Samuel explained that the new venture will sell dishes including doucana, tarts, dough boy, callalou and crayfish, cattle head soup, and 22 flavours of local juices.

Samuel called on Vincentians to embrace healthy lifestyles by eating local produce.

He also made a special appeal to the Taxi Drivers’ Association to make his centre a must stop when vistors are touring the area. Samuel said he is located near to the main road and from his gate, he can tell when there is a big tourist boat in Kingstown, “…because a lot of them (tour buses and taxis) … drive through here. So, we can make this happen. We can let this place be a must stop for our local juices, our local doucana…,” Samuel said.

Another aspect of the business is the large cold storage facility which will be set up in his 10,000 sq ft warehouse.

He said the venture would only be successful if Vincentian farmers utilize the cold storage unit to store their surplus agricultural produce, then sell them during times of drought, when produce is scarce and allow top dollar on their return.

“…We can build a facility and take off all the dasheen, all the eddoes, all the yams off the market and decide how much is going to Trinidad or to Barbados and control the quantity, because we have the facility to store them,” Samuel explained.

He asked for collaboration through a farming co-operative, so that all parties can benefit.

Samuel also spoke of his plan to have solar panels and generators installed later on to run the business at little economic cost.

One of the invited guests, Stanley ‘Stalkey’ John QC, applauded Samuel’s resilience.

“It is such an inspirational thing to see a man who has taken as many blows as ‘Bigger’ has taken and which for most ordinary people, they would have knocked them down and they would have stayed down. Bigger is not staying down for the count; he’s up all the time and every time he comes up, he comes up with something that is creative and that is intended to impact in a positive way…Bigger, you are an inspiration for me, as a man who believes in himself…,” said John.

The rehabilitated compound is painted in the signature green of Phoenix Kitchen and guests were served samples of the local cuisine which will be on offer. Many farmers also witnessed the launch.

Deliveries of food will be made to surrounding areas, including Argyle, Peruvian Vale, and Mesopotamia. Phoenix Agro Value Added Centre may be reached at 454-9190.(CB)

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