And The 2019 Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Goes To...GARY 'BUTCH' HENDRICKSON

Sunday, May 26, 2019

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Since 1952, the name National has become a household staple for most Jamaicans.

'Always Baking Something Better'; 'Delivering Freshness Every Day' and, 'For Every Jamaican Moment' are a few taglines of the bakery many of us have held close to our hearts, for decades.

There is a sense of nostalgia associated with National-with many of its products spanning generations! Hardo bread, Weekender, cream crackers and buns are first in mind, heart and countertops islandwide; not to mention every child's favourite snack-Cheez Trix! This merely skims the surface of the portfolio of products that National has offered to Jamaicans over the years.

Widely known for its distribution system, a well-oiled machine, National has indeed lived up to its tagline of 'Delivering Freshness Every day'. At every supermarket and corner shop we see a 'bread truck' making its daily rounds and ensuring shelves are well stocked.

Chairman & CEO of National Baking Company Butch Hendrickson is currently the man behind the magic. His love for his country and its environment motivated him to introduce biodegradable polyethylene packaging for his products years before it was the “cool” thing to do.

He also reduced the sugar content of some popular products long before the low-sugar campaign was launched in an effort to provide Jamaicans with alternatives.

Hendrickson's faith in manufacturing as the engine of job creation moved him to conceptualise the “Bold Ones” programme, promoting little-known companies into the limelight by plastering their brands on his trucks. Folks started wondering if National was making lotions, sauces, chocolates and, yes, Sandals! National created multimedia displays for 34 Bold Ones. Hendrickson's mentorship of these companies has seen them listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and becoming significant exporters.

Hendrickson's team curates and executes “A Jamaican Made Christmas” which has the Jamaica Pegasus Ballroom abuzz every November, with small and micro businesses participating free of charge, enjoying booming sales beyond their expectations.

He has received numerous awards including the Jamaica Observer Business Leader Award. At the presentation in 2016, he reminded the audience, “We rise by lifting others. Jamaica succeeds only if we all get the opportunity to succeed.”

Butch Hendrickson, you have lifted Jamaica by your powerful philanthropy and your visionary entrepreneurial spirit.

Join in the celebration of Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson on Thursday, May 30 at the 21st staging of the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards.

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