Table Talk With CPJ

Counting Down To The 20th Staging Of The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards, Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday, May 03, 2018

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Eyes widened in astonishment when CPJ Chief Executive Officer Dr David Lowe recently shared the company's inauspicious beginnings “CPJ started with the delivery of one container of toilet paper to a hotel in Jamaica.” That company today, is the largest importer of protein and diary, and the second largest importer of seafood to Jamaica and has carved out a niche and name for itself in the hospitality industry for its wines and spirits.

There is no disputing that the business has evolved. For while it has maintained the huge footprint within the hospitality sector for which it became known fairly early in its development, many of its products also now claim a respectable share of the domestic market. Indeed Lowe, who wanted to find an opportunity to create something Jamaican, has hit the success formula with the addition of Jerk Burgers, Jerk Bacon and Jerk Ham and beverages like Caribust orange and lemonade juice concentrates and frozen daiquiri mixes.

Not only is CPJ a distrbutor and retailer of a wide range of goods, but it is also a manufacturer that has already ventured into the export market with a full-fledged distribution operation in St Lucia, with plans on the drawing board for further expansion in the region.

CPJ has the most diverse wine portfolio in Jamaica representing wines from France, USA (California, Oregon), Italy, Chile, Argentina and Australia. Through its distribution of the Jackson Family Wine Collection, CPJ has one of the largest (90+) Wine Spectator selections for California and Oregon in Jamaica. And, because of great relationships forged, offers excellent prices.

Perhaps one of the most memorable statements of the evening, and a major part of CPJ's philosophy was: “Sustainability is a key part of our business,” informed Commercial Director Rhys Campbell. CPJ currently utilises 1,400 solar panels and a growing number of inverted a/c units with the aim of diminishing its carbon footprint in the near future.

An invite was extended to visit the MoBay HQ where the CPJ story began and indeed continues.

A tasting ensued guided by Category Manager for Food and Non-Foods O'Neil Murdock with comprehensive wine notes by Campbell.


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