Accountant sweetens survival with hot pepper business

Accountant sweetens survival with hot pepper business

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affecting the lives of many people, with some losing employment, there are stories of triumph.

One such is that of St Catherine resident, Shellyann Tracey, who lost her job in March 2020, after only being employed for a month. This hit her hard as, being unemployed, coupled with growing expenses, the future looked gloomy. That’s when her entrepreneurial spirit took over and she kickstarted her business under the name Nature’s Queen. About six months later, she started growing peppers to begin making sauces. Fast forward to 2022 and she believes that Nature’s Queen, which produces an array of pepper sauces, is poised to be the standard bearer as a condiment supplier. She utilises fruits such as mango, passion fruit and pineapple in her pepper sauces.

“This little business venture, which is home-based, is filled with boundless potential,” Tracey beamed. “It actually started with making smoothies. This changed overtime and I launched into the production of condiments, the base ingredient of these products are locally grown peppers. So supply and demand were met in a timely manner. We purchase raw materials from local farmers.”

Tracey was among many tradesmen, vendors and small business operators who converged on July 1 at the Social Development Commission’s (SDC) Economic Zone (market fair) at the SDC complex on Port Henderson Road. Tracey said that the pandemic has been a learning curve which causes her to make constant demands on her coping skills, a method which she encourages others to employ in these challenging times.

“I am aware of the hard task in getting the finished product on the market and to the tables of our growing clients, therefore we continue to improve on the finished products,” Tracey said.

The Spanish Town native said that it is a labour of love to pay attention to the finest details, which has helped her business.

Facey said that getting technical support from the Rural Agriculture Development Authority is also crucial to her business, as farmers are easily identified for supply. Though supplying a local clientele, Tracey’s aim is to expand her production line and realise her dream to supply the overseas market.

The entrepreneur, who is an accountant by profession, said there is no paradox in her saying that hot peppers are sweet for her business.

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