True Stories Tropicks 365
Jervian Johnson was missing the taste of her favourite fruit, mangoes, while she was studying for her Master’s in Environmental Engineering in South Korea. While there, she saw a lot of preserved foods in the shops and supermarkets. Although the dried mangoes were not very ripe, she still enjoyed it, and was delighted to have finally tasted mangoes after being away from Jamaica for such a long time.
As she was delving into this new world of dried foods, a light bulb switched on in her head. “Everyone who comes to Jamaica says that we have the best fruit in the world…why not dry and preserve them?” She thought.
As an engineer, Jervian always had the natural desire to create things and solve problems. Her love for chemistry and her passion for healthy living served to be a recipe for the birth of Tropicks 365. That moment in the supermarket in South Korea inspired her to go into the business of preserving fruits.
"Everyone who comes to Jamaica says that we have the best fruit in the world...why not dry and preserve them?”
Tropicks 365 really reflects Jervian as a person; healthy, innovative and Jamaica – first. She uses 100% Jamaican products and her reason is that “we have the best fruits in the world.” She definitely considers herself to be a very health-conscious person and she really strives to make healthy choices in her everyday life. These kinds of snacks reflect what she values the most, and one of her goals is to spread the value of health to her customers.
One of her customers has a sweet tooth and absolutely loves dried mangoes. This particular customer, like many other dried fruit enthusiasts, snacks on Tropicks 365 which prevents her from reaching for the more artificial, sugar-laden snacks. This is the kind of positive impact that Jervian wants Tropicks 365 to have on people. “With these snacks, my customers would have peace of mind while going about their day-to-day lives. They can snack on something sweet and delicious, without having to worry about it negatively impacting their health.”
With these snacks, my customers would have peace of mind while going about their day-to-day lives. They can snack on something sweet and delicious, without having to worry about it negatively impacting their health
Tropicks 365 was registered in June 2021. Jervian consulted with the Jamaica Business Development Corporation and received guidance throughout the whole process of registering the business, developing her products and getting feedback. Based on feedback from potential customers, she identified room for improvement and has been working continuously to improve. After receiving some criticism regarding the texture of some of the products, she accepted the challenge and made adjustments to the formulae. Now, the same person who made that complaint is a regular customer.
The first official launch of the products was at Christmas In July in 2022. Many people gravitated towards her products which really encouraged her. Since then, she has been able to distribute her products more widely and now Tropicks 365 products are sold at General Food Supermarket, New Kingston Pharmacy, Jamaica Care Packages Ltd., and of course at all Things Jamaican stores. While the business is still in its inception and would still be considered a startup, Jervian believes that it has great potential to impact her community, Jamaica and even the world.
“The best part about this journey of entrepreneurship is the feeling of self worth that comes with creating. Although it can be very challenging, I really enjoy doing this and that feeling of satisfaction in creating a business that has the potential to create such a big impact. I want to encourage other young people, especially women, to develop something and be inspired to fully explore your potential. Oftentimes we are full of ideas, but we just don’t fully commit to exploiting our talents. I hope to inspire other people to show them what is possible; you just have to try.” True Story