Despite trying economic times and uncertain prospects for most exporters, grass roots coffee company, Rocksteady Coffee is thriving during the pandemic because of the constant and increasing demand for its gourmet single origin
President and CEO, Ricardo Forbes attributes the continued success to relationship building and the company’s single origin approach that contributes to Rocksteady Coffee’s superior taste profile.
All the coffee manufactured, grows on Forbes’ farm and is not purchased from other sources ensuring its consistently balanced, unique robust flavours appreciated by discerning coffee lovers.
Established in 2013 and produced on a 17.5-acre farm located in the Blue and John Crow Mountains, Rocksteady Coffee Co. is on track to expand its reach in over 300 high-end specialty food stores in Canada and is currently available locally in select Progressive Group supermarkets, Things Jamaican at Devon House and Norman Manley International Airport.
Guidance from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) enabled the company to access an investment readiness grant of USD$25,000 from the World Bank’s Link Caribbean fund aimed at helping SMEs in the
Caribbean grow their businesses. This saw the World Bank Group further matching half of $75,000 in successful angel investment raised by Rocksteady.
With key milestones reached and product validation, the business is now focused on acquiring investment from the right angel investor and support from Link Caribbean.
According to Forbes, additional funding will serve to “increase our holding to 40 acres, maximise farm yield, strengthen the sustainability initiative and continue to build on the relationship we have with our farmers and stakeholders.”
Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the fates of numerous businesses in similar and disparate industries, the demand for Rocksteady coffee is growing. The company has been able to retain its 14 employees, 80 per cent of whom are women who reside in the parish of Portland.
It remains very important for Forbes and his family to scale the business and see it thrive. This will not only help them to achieve their lifelong goals but to also sustain the lives of the workers of the rural district of Cascade, Portland.