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JAMAICA’S NATIONAL BAKERY TAKES ON NEW YORK CITY!

Jamaican baked-goods company starts distribution in ‘The Big Apple’

BY VERNON DAVIDSON—-

HENDRICKSON… I’m happy and a little nervous at the same time—

NATIONAL Baking Company, one of Jamaica’s most recognised and respected brands, on Monday started distributing three of its more popular products in New York as the firm expands its reach into overseas markets.

“I’m happy and a little nervous at the same time, but we are on the streets of New York [with] our own National brand for the first time,” Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson, the company’s chairman and managing director, told the Jamaica Observer on Monday.

Hendrickson said the operation started with two trucks. However, the company hopes to add another six by Easter next year.

At present, they have targeted just over 300 retailers “between Brooklyn, Queens and the south Bronx”, but Hendrickson is under no illusion that they will all take his products.

In preparation for this expansion, National recently signed a five-year lease on warehousing space in New York.

Following on that, Hendrickson and his team pounded the pavements in that ethnically diverse city, popularly referred to as ‘The Big Apple’ and which has a population of just over 8.4 million people.

NationalBakery:truck

“We spent a lot of time on the road this year while we were getting the warehouse ready,” he told the Business Observer, adding that his team visited the areas where Jamaicans live and shop in the three boroughs, and included New Jersey in the effort.

The products being distributed in this introductory phase are National breads, buns and crackers. Over time, however, the company, which has become a household name in Jamaica, will introduce more of its 78 baked products now on the market.

“It’s exciting times,” Hendrickson said. “And from what I can tell you, there is a certain amount of anticipation among our Jamaicans in New York, and I hope that we will be able to satisfy them.”

New York now joins London as National’s second major overseas market and forms part of the company’s overall expansion programme here and abroad.

 

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