Canadian Kleptocrats

Page 18



Toronto Caribbean News | | Wednesday, July 20, 2022 Photo Credit: Envoy


The Amazon of the Caribbean

merchants across the Caribbean run their businesses remotely while building a loyal customer base. I had the opportunity to sit on a call with the CEO of Caribshopper, Kadion Preston, along with his dedicated team:



Kerry Lowe (Head of Operations) based in South Florida Suzzanne Cousins (Public Relations) based in Jamaica Catherine Edwards Mark Tabor Catherine Godwin

“We want to become that brand; when you’re thinking to yourself, “ I want this,” you think about CaribShopper.” Kadion Preston

• • •

COVID-19 brought in the explosion of online shopping. Yes, people were shopping online before, but throughout this pandemic, some of us have been forced to find alternative ways of getting the products that we need. Online shopping is quite convenient, because you can do it right from your office, or your home, or even when you are on a holiday. What if I told you that Caribbeans in North America now have an online shopping experience that allows you to get your favourite Trinidadian snacks like Sunshine Snacks’ Cheese Curls, and Kiss Cupcakes (mini orange or chocolate cakes)? Think about it; not having to leave home to find Grace Foods Jamaican Coconut Milk, Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, or even Tastsee or Juici Beef patties. Yes Toronto, and Caribbean lovers living in Canada; we have a reason to celebrate! You can now order your favourite Caribbean-made products online and receive them directly to their door. This is thanks to our featured business this edition, Caribshopper, the region’s leading online marketplace that brings the: tastes, crafts, beauty, fashion, and culture of Jamaica and Trinidad to the shores of Canada with the click of a button. That’s right! You can get everything you want from the Caribbean without booking a flight! Caribshopper is the largest online marketplace for authentic Caribbeanmade products. Proudly founded to support regional development through e-commerce, Caribshopper partners with a diverse list of artisan and brands across Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Carishopper helps

They shared with me their excitement and their enthusiasm to do more to get Caribbeans living in the diaspora the products that they need as efficiently as possible. “Since Caribshopper launched in 2021, we have been driven by a vision to bring home unbeatable convenience, and competitive prices. For more than one million Caribbean-lovers living in Canada, this is an opportunity like never before to stay connected to and support the growth of the Caribbean.” In a little over a year, Caribshopper has become the go-to source for thousands of US and Canadian residents longing for a nostalgic piece of ‘home’ to reconnect with authentic Caribbean culture. One great thing is that Caribbean nationals, descendants, and enthusiasts living abroad are introduced to up-and-coming brands that offer a modern twist on traditional Caribbean excellence. To date they have shipped over 11,000 products, have over 470+ Brands, and 6,900+ SKU’s. I had a chance to look on their website, and I found that they feature thousands of products that allow customers to shop in their local currency, with all duties and taxes included at checkout, which offers a more seamless experience. Shoppers can also get five-day shipping, free shipping on select orders, a dedicated customer support line for queries and concerns, and 15% off first orders for new subscribers. “We now have a team of up to 18 people spread out between Jamaica and Trinidad,” Kadion shares with me. “My mother is an entrepreneur in Jamaica, and I saw the challenges that she had getting

products out to the marketing, especially the international market. People leave the island and lose touch with their culture, and now, we are providing a service that will allow them to reminisce about products that many of them used, or saw their parents use. The progress we made since 2020 has been remarkable. I realize that the pandemic was difficult on a lot of businesses, but to be honest, it helped with the digital focus of the company. I am happy that we are in Canada now, and we want to bring the products from home. It is a good way to help Caribbean brands that have been struggling. With direct-to-consumer shipping to Canadian customers, it means more growth for MSMEs in Jamaica and greater penetration of Jamaican culture overseas.” It was quite impressive to see all of the products that are currently being offered to Caribbeans living in Canada. Consumers who want the best wellness products can find them on Caribshoppper’s extensive marketplace that features the best-selling products from ariSkinCare, LiveSimple, and Obara. These self-care must-haves are made with all-natural ingredients, found only on the island. They had everything: whipped butter, soothing cream, fragrance-infused oil, and even hand-made soap that takes you back to the beaches, forests, and rivers of the tropics. You will enjoy browsing the site, and I am sure that you are bound to find what you have been missing. “It is hard in North America managing time and living our lives; everyone else has the convenience of getting products, so we want to do that for Caribbean people. We don’t want to compete with the stores; there is a market for everyone. We think about people who live outside the metropolitans how difficult it must be to find Caribbean products that they need. Now they have options, and our shipping time of three to five business days makes it very accessible.” Finally, an online shopping experience that was built for us, by us! For more information on Caribshopper, visit their website at or check them out on all major social media platforms @caribshopper.

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