July 25, 2014
Afro-vinci’s plantain chips to sell in Trinidad

An investor from Trinidad and Tobago who operates restaurant chains and entertainment complexes has shown interest in receiving a steady supply of the salted plantain chips produced by the local entity Afro-Vinci.{{more}}

The deal, which is still being worked out, will see the Redemption Sharpes based business exporting huge quantities of their salted plantain chips to Trinidad and Tobago where they will be sold at establishments that see over 1.6 million customers annually.

Speaking on Monday from her office in the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) building on Granby Street, executive director at Invest SVG Bernadette Ambrose-Black said that the investor (who does not want to be named as yet) out of Trinidad was recently in St Vincent on a fact finding mission in the hope of doing business here.

“He sampled the plantain chips of this local small entrepreneur and he was very interested and would like her to supply his establishment with plantain chips,” said Ambrose-Black who added that Invest SVG and Afro-Vinci are looking at working with the Ministry of Agriculture to see how best they can make the deal go through.

She added that they are looking at a clustering initiative where farmers come together to supply Afro-Vinci with a consistent supply of plantains to make the chips.

“We are also hoping to have Afro-Vinci registered at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and we also want to make improvements to the labeling of the chips as the investor wants the chips to also be branded with the logo of the establishment in Trinidad.”

The unnamed investor also has businesses in Guyana.

Afro-Vinci is run by Florence Manyi and another local investor and currently employs three people Manyi said that they have been producing chips for three years now and they are extremely grateful for the opportunity to export to Trinidad.

She said that her chips are made with their own secret spices while, “our labels are different and we make sure our products are done properly in a clean and friendly environment as we want our products to reach the consumers just like how it leaves the factory.”

She added that they take great care with packaging, making sure that their chips are not broken up.

“In the past, persons who eat our chips they ask for quantities to take overseas. Our chips are sold at the airport and at a number of local supermarkets,” said Manyi who added that they usually have a steady supply of plantains to supply the local market.

She added, “our plantains are selected from the field and the bunches handpicked to ensure quality.”

Afro-Vinci sells seven different products, salted plantain chips, unsalted plantain chips, spicy plantain chips, ripe or sweet plantain chips, sweet potato chips, spicy potato chips, breadfruit chips (regular and spicy) and a new addition, the Afro-Vinci party pack (mixture of all products including peanuts and raisins).

Manyi added that they also experiment with plantain flour and they are hoping to do it for commercial use as well as a plantain fritter.

Afro-Vinci products can be found at retail outlets around the country including Coreas and Hazells Supermarket, Color’s Supermarket and Randy’s Supermarket.