Following a meeting with the St Lucia Manufacturers Association, Sandals Resorts International committed to sponsoring a mini-expo providing the members of the association with an opportunity to showcase their products. The expo on Wednesday, June 13 provided an opportunity for review of top-notch local products from a number of companies on island!
The Ballroom at Sandals Grande was transformed as companies went above and beyond to show just what they were made of and those who came out to support were pleasantly surprised and certainly impressed with the quality of products made right here on island.
Speaking at the occasion Jeremy Jones, regional director of Sandals Resorts International, Eastern Caribbean acknowledged there were exceptional products in St Lucia people definitely needed to know about.
“There’s a lot of really good quality products on display today,” Jones expressed. “If you have gold at half price and you don’t tell anyone, how are they going to know? I think once we’re holding hands with each other we got a bright future ahead.”
President of the St Lucia Manufacturers Association Paula Calderon said the one-day expo was just the beginning. The SMA has every intention of turning it into an annual event.
“We are strategically looking at directing our sales to particular individuals or persons where we know we will at least get some actual sales,” she said.
“This is very strategic in going to the hoteliers, restaurateurs and construction companies to try to encourage them to buy local and keep our economy moving. The more you purchase from outside the more we have financial problems—plus you are maintaining employment and the whole idea is for all these people to come in and see the quality products we have here.”
“Many of the hoteliers and managers actually don’t know all the items that are made locally,” she continued. “We are encouraging them to have a look, see what’s available and use more of the products at the hotels. We’re going sector by sector. In the end they’re supporting their families and everyone in St Lucia. We have to be very weary, not everything that is good is made outside of St Lucia. St Lucia has a lot of good products!”
Participants included Harris Paints, St Lucia Distillers, Carib Pasta, Baron Foods, Caribbean Awnings, Top Stone Fabrication, Natmed, Frootsy, Lubeco, Windward and Leeward Brewery, Poyottes Joinery, Solar Dynamics and other SMA members!