Sun | Jun 24, 2018

'Made in Manchester' does it bigger and better for 2018

Published:Friday | March 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Owner of Seh me Precious Jewellry helping a customer try one of her pieces.
Pop Weh - gourmet popcorn was one of the new comers to the expo that patrons were very excited about.
The team from Home Solutions/Jamwest
Outland Hurders Creamery and Farmstead with their gourmet cheeses. From left Gordon Dempster, Kristina Budhoo, and ‘Moo’.
Cassava products were in abundance at the Rural Agricultural Development Agency Booth.
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Mandeville, Manchester:

The Made in Manchester movement began in 2016, initially to provide a platform for women to showcase their products and services. Fast-forward to two years later, and men have now been included, along with businesses that are based in other parishes but have branches in Manchester.

Last Sunday at the Mandeville Hotel, approximately 50 booths representing businesses mainly owned by women in the parish gave residents the opportunity to bask in the excellence of the innovative products.

"We have had from 33 to 55 booths over the years, and the compliment of people here, the mix, has also changed. We not only have people from arts and crafts and food, but we have people from interior designs, solar energy, [and] shipping and logistics, and we have a new partner - First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union," explains event coordinator Annette Salmon of 20Twenty Strategies.

With first-time businesses such as Pop Weh, which produces gourmet popcorn, and Outland Hurders, which offer gourmet cheeses, the expo was well received by patrons who thought those things were only available in Kingston.

"We want to do more than an expo. We want people to be a part of us and be a movement in the community so they can continue their business ... a lot of women see each other as competition, and we don't have enough individually to compete with the world. The most we can do is partner with each other so we can compete with the world," added Salmon.

Salmon noted that this is the third staging of the event, was by far the most successful.

"The landscape is such that if companies can't prove that your event is worthwhile, they won't sponsor you. But First Heritage has taken a chance with us, and they are not just giving us their money, but they are partnering with us to help us grow in different ways. All our sponsors - Knutsford Express who took people down from Kingston, Fontana, Irie Fm, the Gleaner/Power 106, all our other sponsors - we couldn't have done it without them."