Last month, Sunrise Bakery a UK-based Caribbean food firm, celebrated their 45th birthday by launching an authentic Caribbean Rum Cake based on their original recipe. Founded in 1966 by Herman Drummond and William Lamont, to service the demands of the growing Caribbean community in Birmingham and the surrounding area, Sunrise Bakery has expanded significantly within recent years. Their full product range is currently in more than 90 Asda stores and 60 Tesco outlets across the UK, as well as more than 250 independent retailers. No small achievement!
Current CEO Errol Drummond, was kind enough to participate in the first installment of my new 2012 series “Five Questions”. He is also going to send a Paradise Estates Rum Cake to one lucky blog reader. More on that though, after our interview…
TG: Dear Errol, first of all let me thank you for allowing me this opportunity to ask you a few questions about yourself and Sunrise Bakery! According to your website you are “the leading producer and wholesaler of Caribbean Hard Dough Bread, Spiced Buns and Cakes in the UK”. I’m sure my readers would love to know a little more of the human story behind your company’s founding. Who started Sunrise Bakery and why?
ED: Sunrise Bakery was established in 1966 by my father Herman Drummond, and his partner William Lamont, to supply the growing Caribbean community that settled in the West Midlands. For the first fifteen years our market was concentrated within a thirty miles radius of the original site in Bearwood, but in the early 1980s we developed new markets nationally.
TG: How has the original vision for Sunrise Bakery changed or evolved since its formation?
ED: Our original vision has remained consistent in that we have always striven to be the premier supplier of quality Caribbean products throughout the United Kingdom, and to bring Caribbean cuisine to the wider market.
TG: What does Caribbean food represent to you?
ED: Caribbean food is an amalgamation of many cuisines from around the world which includes: Native Caribbean, African, European, Chinese, Indian and some Middle Eastern. It is this fusion that has created the great Caribbean taste. Given this historical journey through time and taste, plus our large variety of root vegetables, Caribbean Food is crying out for a larger audience. The challenge for those of us engaged in the industry, at whatever level, is to market and sell effectively.
TG: What are 3 of your favourite Caribbean dishes?
ED: I love Caribbean style soup, it doesn’t matter what the meat is, or whether there is meat, as long as there are plenty of dumplings. I am also quite fond of fish with anything. Stew-peas and white rice tends to hit the spot. I can go on but you did say 3.
TG: in closing, what is one piece of advice you’d like to give readers who may also have dreams of opening a Caribbean food-based business in the Diaspora?
ED: My advice is quite simple. Look at the other cuisines that have achieved success in the marketplace and learn lessons. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. For those looking to go into the Restaurant or Takeaway side remember that you are effectively the gateway to Caribbean Food and as such you need to focus on your core market and the market you are trying to attract and always exceed your customer’s expectations.
TRINIGOURMET’S JANUARY GIVEAWAY – SPONSORED BY SUNRISE BAKERY
One lucky reader will win a Paradise Estates Rum Cake this month. YUM! Will it be you?
HOW TO ENTER:
1) ‘Like’ Trinigourmet’ on Facebook (click the ‘Like’ button below)
2) ‘Like’ Paradise Estates’ on Facebook (click the ‘Like’ button below)
3) Post your favourite Rum (Black) Cake memory to Paradise Estate’s Facebook wall
A Winner will be announced on January 27th. Best of Luck!