Local producers shine at Everything Vincy Plus
Exhibitors who copped awards in the judged categories of the Everything Vincy Plus Expo are proud and excited about the opportunities that the expo has created for them.
This year’s expo saw participants being judged in four categories: Best Export Ready Products, Best Décor, Best Table and Best Overall Booth/Table.
Winners were awarded at the closing ceremony which took place on Sunday at the Geest Shed.
In the Best Overall Booth/Table category, St Vincent Distillers Ltd placed first.
And general manager, Phillipa Greaves told SEARCHLIGHT that they were extremely proud to have copped the title.
“We were extremely happy. I wasn’t expecting it actually because in my opinion, there was quite a few stalls there that was extremely good but we’re all elated,” she said.
The general manager said that the expo provided an opportunity for persons to know more about products being manufactured by her company, which include Captain Bligh XO rum, Sparrows Premuim Rum, Sunset Very Strong, Sunset Light Rum and a seasonal product, Rum Punch.
But she also said that the expo was not just about selling a product but the country on a whole.
“The Invest SVG team I think did an excellent job, a sterling effort in bringing all the craft and manufacturing sector together in displaying their products. I think not only is it enjoyable for the consumers, it’s also enjoyable for the exhibitors because I saw a lot of things there that I did not know was manufactured here in St Vincent and as an exhibitor, I also bought stuff, so St Vincent Distillers will definitely participate again,” she said.
St Vincent Distillers also placed first in the Best Export Ready Product category and second in the Best Décor category.
Tide, Sand and Hand, a first-time exhibitor at the expo won first place in the Best Table category and was third in the Overall Best Booth/Table category.
Proprietor, Maraika Young told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that placing in the categories felt “a little bit surreal but also exciting,” especially since she attended the expo last year and never thought she would be participating.
Young registered her business in March and specializes in stone art, ornaments, souvenirs, wall decors, prayer books, t-shirt graphics and more.
“I feel encouraged because people know that we’re there and I feel as though the public appreciates that sort of expression of art. It’s quite something different from what they’re accustomed to and they’ve shown a lot of appreciation for it,” she said. “We’ve made friends with some of the other exhibitors and exchanged secrets and skills …we’ve gotten some good tips and we’ve had conversations with potential buyers.”
Another exhibitor that received much attention from the public was Grow in Time. This brand was able to place third in the Best Export Ready Product category and second in the Best Overall Booth/Table.
Grow in Time is a rehabilitation initiative taking place in the prisons in St Vincent and the Grenadines, where prisoners create hats, mats, baskets and other products by weaving vetiver grass.
Vonnie Roudette, the project manager said that everyone involved, including the prisoners were extremely proud and overjoyed to receive the awards.
“We never expected such incredible recognition for the work we’ve done,” she said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, many challenges along the way, but we all are very proud of the accomplishments especially having such a high-quality product and it being recognized as export ready.”
Roudette revealed that there have been inquiries from the United Kingdom and several islands in the region about exporting. She also said that the Brooklyn museum also expressed interested in having the products there.
The project manager said that Grow in Time participated in the expo last year as well. And the most valuable take away from both experiences has been recognition of inmates’ talents and the “positive exposure to help change the attitudes and improve attitudes of the public towards former prisoners…”
Tus-t and Grenadines Sea Salt were also recognized for being some of the Best Export Ready Products.
Jazzy’s All Natural Vincy Products placed first in the Best Décor category and Exotic Floral placed third.
In the Best Table Category, El Mundo de Coco was second and VinC was third. Jazzy’s All Natural Vincy Products also shared the second-place spot with Grow in Time in the Best Overall Booth/Table category.
Special mention tables included Auldine’s, Ah Dash ah Cass, Afro VinC, Lacoda Baths and Sparkles while Special Mention booths included Barrouallie Technical Institute, Cyrus, OSV, St Vincent Brewery, Kendra’s Aluminium, Brand SVG.