Sandals Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has partnered with several local producers, giving them access and exposure to market and sell their products to significant numbers of foreign visitors once the resort at Buccament Bay opens on March 27.

Working alongside Invest SVG, several local manufacturers and artisans got a taste of what’s to come when they were able to stage a mini expo of their goods and services on resort during the recent CELAC Heads of Government Summit.

Vincentian entrepreneurs were able to display products to delegates who attended from all over the world, with SVG’s First Lady Eloise Gonsalves personally taking the spouses of several visiting heads of government to view the locally-produced items. Exhibitors included Jasmin Deane of Jazzy All Natural, Roxanne James and Rosette Stronghold of Rocks n Roses, Natalie Cato with Red Bikini, Jessica Jaja of Bequia Threadworks, Cherise King of Isla Antilles, Shanique Peters-Melville of Le Wear, Maraika Young with Tide Sand and Hand, Shevonne de Shong of The Kraft House, Algee King-Providence of Island Teas SVG and Kimya Glasgow of Kimya Glasgow Inc.

Mrs. Nadine Agard- Juillerat, Director of Export Marketing and Promotions at Invest SVG, underscores what the partnership with Sandals means for local entrepreneurs.

“The exhibition, intended for the presidential spouses in attendance, not only underscored the local artisans’ and agro-processors’ prowess but also significantly boosted their morale and market presence. It’s a poignant moment for us at Invest SVG to see their products embraced by such a prestigious retail outlet like Beach House at Sandals Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; it epitomizes the deep pride and connection felt towards our national craftsmanship”.

In fact, Sandals Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will go even further and, in line with its commitment to work with local stakeholders, will host a weekly local market and showcase on the resort, where artisans from SVG can display their products and be able to sell them to guests.

Moreover, several of the locally manufactured products will be prominently displayed and available for sale in the resort’s gift shop (Beach House).

“This essentially is a form of giving persons from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines an export market, without the hassle of them having to ship and advertise their products overseas,” noted General Manager Brett Castleman.

“We expect to bring thousands of visitors to our resort every year, and not only will they be able to see and purchase items produced locally, they will also be encouraged to go out into the island and explore, exposing even more small businesses and restaurants so that they can benefit from the proceeds of tourism as well.”

It was welcome news from many of the local suppliers, who lauded the initiative by Sandals to give them access to this market. According to Ms. Shelly-Ann Fraser, Sales Marketing and Administration Manager at Vincy Fresh Ltd., “We expect that our sales volume and variety to Sandals will increase over the years. We also expect that the products will resonate with the guests who buy or use them, creating potential repeat customers who will continue to demand our authentic Caribbean products – thus growing our exports. We welcome strong sustainable partnerships that provide a consistent outlet for our products, which are world class and complement Sandals’ world class tourism product.”

Her excitement was echoed by Ms. Roxanne James, Co-Founder of Rocks n Roses.

“We are delighted to have our products on sale at the Sandals gift shop. Each handmade item is created to embody a Caribbean aesthetic of bright colours and bold prints. As such we are very pleased to have been given an opportunity to showcase our creation with a wider community.

As a micro business, this move is incredibly important toward the growth of our business. It brings some visibility to our brand by giving us access to a fresh audience. It also provides a boost in our revenue, which allows us an opportunity to expand our creativity by adding new products to our lines. We see this partnership as an opportunity to accelerate the pace of growth of the business in order to keep up with the new demands. This growth would put us in a position to provide employment to other Vincentians.”Cherise King, Founder of Isla Antilles noted: “We are absolutely thrilled and grateful for the incredible opportunity for our products to be available for sale at the Sandals SVG gift shop. It’s an honor for our small business, and we’re excited to present our products to Sandals’ guests.

We’re committed to delivering quality products that enhance the overall experience for visitors to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This partnership marks a significant milestone for us and provides us with a platform to reach a broader audience and showcase our products to visitors from around the world. This partnership with Sandals has the potential to significantly contribute to the growth and success of Isla Antilles in the long term. We anticipate increased brand recognition and exposure as our products are showcased to a diverse and international audience visiting the Sandals SVG gift shop. This exposure could lead to a growth in sales both locally and globally. Additionally, being associated with a reputable and well-established brand like Sandals can enhance our credibility and reputation in the market.”

Mischleen John, Sales and Marketing representative of the Saint Vincent Cocoa Company (producer of Vincentian Chocolate) said: “It is an esteemed pleasure to have our products available for sale at the Sandals SVG giftshop. We hold dear not only the international standard of quality upheld across our product range – to which our various awards are a testament – but also being one of few, if not the only “seed to bar” chocolate companies. Seed to bar, because in addition to supporting local farmers, we plant our own trees to which the beans that go into our products come from. Being a part of Sandals undoubtedly aligns with our visions for quality and sustainability. This move holds significant importance for us. It profoundly influences our brand exposure, opening new opportunities for expansion and helping achieve our goal to become the region’s premier choice for quality authentic chocolate products.”

Some of the other producers that will be stocked in the Sandals gift shop include Saint Vincent Distillers Ltd., Tide Hand and Sand, and Grenadine Wild Sea Salt – with more expected to come onboard in the near future.

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