The Branson Centre is propelling
small businesses into
the big time...
Entrepreneur: Robyn Fox
|Mount Edge Guest
House, Food Basket
and EITS Café
|Meet the maker:
During childhood walks around her father’s
farm in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, Robyn Fox
remembers watching seedlings grow into flowers.
You could say that Robyn’s business has grown in
much the same way.
Robyn studied hospitality and tourism in Canada
and Jamaica and worked in Kingston’s only
boutique hotel. The experience of working with
her father on his farm and small guest house
(Mount Edge Guest House), since January 2011 has
helped Robyn expand her business. She now also
runs a successful farm café and food home
| The golden opportunity:
Robyn knew that the salads and herbs grown in
her corner of the Blue Mountains were something
special. Yet she felt that no-one was really
showing off the best that the area had to offer.
It’s why she launched Food Basket, which delivers
fresh, pesticide-free farm produce directly to
people’s doors. In March 2011 she also launched
the Europe in the Summer (EITS) Café on the
farm. The café allows guests, many of whom are
tourists, to experience the farm’s fresh Jamaican
produce in European-influenced dishes.
|The business in a nutshell:
Robyn’s business is three-fold.
The EITS Café serves up fresh produce from
Robyn’s father’s farm to a busy mix of local
customers and overseas visitors.
Thanks to Robyn’s involvement expanding the
business, Mount Edge Guest House now plays
host to intrepid backpackers all year long,
offering tours of this beautiful area of Jamaica, as<
well as accommodation.
And, through a weekly e-newsletter, the Food
Basket’s customers can pick and choose fresh
farm produce, including everything from
spaghetti squash to black mint, which they can
get delivered to their home or shop.
||Ambitions are endless but
my focus right now is to make the
best of this opportunity.
||- Robyn Fox
How it's helping the community:
The Food Basket regularly offers fruit and
vegetables from other farms, helping local
farmers boost their income.
Robyn is also keen to share her experience of
working with pesticide-free, environmentallyfriendly
farming methods. Her business provides
local farmers with extensive training in these
techniques. The work has helped her farm and
other farms to grow, providing local people with job opportunities on the fields, as well as in the
café and delivery business.
The future looks bright:
Robyn wants to add four higher-end cottages to
the guest house, allowing guests to appreciate
life on a working farm without sacrificing
The café is proving so popular that Robyn knows
she’ll have to expand the kitchen and extend the
opening hours to cater for demand. As the farm
continues to grow, she expects production of the
food baskets to increase. Buying a refrigerated
vehicle should allow her to deliver the farm
produce to a much wider area.
- Current number of employees: 11 (Mount
Edge Guest House: 2, Food Basket Farm: 4,
EITS Café: 5)
- Location of headquarters: Newcastle, Jamaica
- Expected number of employees in three
years’ time: 24 (Mount Edge Guest House: 6,
Food Basket Farm: 10, EITS Café: 8)
- Current annual turnover: Mount Edge Guest
House – $5,160,000 (Jamaican) Food Basket
Farm –$1,800,000 (Jamaican) EITS Café –
- Expected annual turnover in three years’
time: Mount Edge Guest House – $9,600,000
(Jamaican) Food Basket Farm – $3,500,000
(Jamaican) EITS Café – $13,000,000 (Jamaican)
- Investment to date: Family and cash flow
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