JAMAICA’S leading foodservice distributor, Caribbean Producers Jamaica Ltd (CPJ), is this month celebrating 20 years of service to customers in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
Founded by Mark Hart and Tom Tyler, CPJ has distinguished itself as Jamaica’s fastest-growing distributor in the retail sector, a feat which no doubt earned it consecutive Purveyor of the Year awards from the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association.
CPJ was established in 1994 to service the hospitality industry as an integrated food service distributor, and recognising the need for their international wines and spirits in the wider retail market, the company formed a retail sales division in 2003 to service that market.
“Twenty years after our launch, we run a business that is dedicated to the service of customers, based on the belief that the success of our customers would propel our own success,” said Hart, the executive chairman.
“From day one, both Tom and I have been very focused on the service side of our business. Hoteliers have enough headaches on a day-to-day basis running their hotels and the last thing they need is to worry about delivery and quality service, so they rely on us to provide ingredients for the best food and service offering,” Hart said.
CPJ has since become a vertically integrated company, having set up food processing factories, encouraging the start-up of agribusinesses, buying produce from farmers and converting to items they would normally import.
“So we are not only importing to supply the distribution chain but we are supporting farmers and other local producers,” said Hart, son of well known Montego Bay business tycoon Tony Hart.
The company is also into the production of bacon, sausages and select cuts of meat. From its beverage factory, it produces box juices, a variety of frozen drinks and dispensers for hotels.
“We are now exporting a lot of these products to our Caribbean neighbours, such as St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and St Maarten. Our latest venture, which comes in our 20th year of operation, is the establishment of a joint venture distribution centre in St Lucia,” Hart said. “It’s about service and building the company through service, which has led to the success of Caribbean Producers Jamaica,” he added.
The Jamaica Observer