January 27, 2006

Erica McIntosh Manager – Erica’s country style

We feature this country’s largest agro-processor in this month’s Business magazine. The name Erica McIntosh is synonymous in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with pepper sauce, seasonings and other agro-products.

Q: Are you living your professional dream? {{more}}

A: Yes, to a certain extent I am. Professionally, I did Industrial Micro Biology and specialized in food. It is my profession and I came back here to try and fulfil that. I got involved in processing locally grown raw materials into a finished consumable product. I am living my dream.

Q: Is this what you envisioned you’d be doing as an adult when you were growing up?

A: Uhm, when I first left here I went to do photography, but it is not something you could really do here professionally and make a living out of it, I still did the photography but as a minor and then I did Micro Biology as my major. I am not sorry that I did that, I think it was a wise choice because I still do both of them.

Q: What do you do to relax?

A: Well, I play all the racquet sports: squash, tennis and table tennis. Power boating is my biggest stress reliever. I fly out of here with my power boat – that is very fast, two 200 horse power engines on the back and my next big hobby is photography. I still do a lot of photography.

Q: How do your spend you weekends?

A: Weekends, my boating. That’s what I do on my weekends. Every Sunday I am boating. The young guy Darrel who just passed away he was on my boat with me every Sunday.

Q: Apart from being on the boat, where would you be on a Saturday night?

A: I would be here at the Prospect Racquet Club, chatting, having a few beers with my friends and from here, on my way home, I would stop at Ron John’s. Saturday evenings I would hang out at Lou’s at Indian Bay catching up on the local gossip.

Q: What is your favourite meal?

A: I am a meat person, I only eat meat. Anything in the fish food section, such as conch, crab and that kind of stuff, and also curry goat I love to eat.

Q: What challenges you most in life?

A: I would really love to see the agro business here take off, and my biggest challenge is to get the farmers of this country to realize how important the agro industry is to the development of the country. Everyone is talking tourism, but tourism and agriculture go hand in hand. The farmers have to know that they have to diversify as well.

Q: What is the most enjoyable aspect of your life?

A: That is spending time with my family. I have one niece and one nephew and looking at them growing up over the years is really fulfilling; that’s a tremendous thing I have seen in my life so far.

The other greatest part of my life is to see where I have grown in my business, from where I started 22 years ago. I am really proud of that.

Q: Where do you get inspiration to go on?

A: Years ago I had two people that were very close to me, my parents, who really were my inspiration. My father inspired me business wise, and my mother was the religious one who would always say go for what you want. I really admired them, especially my dad for the things he did here over the years in St. Vincent.

Q: Who has had the most positive influence on your life?

A: It is even between my parents.

Q: If you were given the power to change one thing in the country or the world, what would it be?

A: Alleviate poverty totally from St. Vincent and the Grenadines if it is at all possible. I think that is the one thing I would want to see, and to let our literacy rate be 100 per cent. I think we have too many illiterate people here and the poverty level is really too low.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

A: In the next five years I am hoping I can really get somebody who can come and take over my business from me. I would like to see my products being exported in the container loads. That has always been one of my dreamsn