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Jamaican Entrepreneurs recipient of Sun-Sentinel Business Award – Ft Lauderdale, Florida 01/20/06

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Jamaican entrepreneurs – Catherine and Desmond Malcolm of Jerk Machine, Incorporated, were among the four recipients of the Sun-Sentinel 2005 Excalibur Awards.

The recipients were honored for outstanding leadership and community service at a ceremony at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, yesterday (Jan. 19).

The Malcolms were cited as outstanding small business leaders in Broward County with architect Jorge Garcia of Garcia Stromberg in Palm Beach County. Chief Executive Michael Jackson of Auto Nation and managing partner, Ms. Patricia Lebow of Broad and Cassel, were honored as outstanding corporate leaders in Broward County and Palm Beach County respectively.

Described as pioneers of Jamaican jerk-style cuisine in this area, Catherine and Desmond Malcolm opened their first Jerk Machine restaurant in Lauderhill, Fort Lauderdale, in 1989. Today, they are owners of a thriving food franchise and warehouse commissary employing some 65 persons in the South Florida region, and boasting annual revenue of $3 million (US).

They now have eight locations in operation and successfully market Jamaican delicacies as jerk chicken and pork, oxtails, curried goat and other exotic dishes.

Both Catherine and Desmond, were born in Jamaica, and migrated to Canada in 1977. The idea of food business evolved when the Malcolm’s catered for their wedding in 1982 in Canada. Then they started a small catering operation planning events for families and other customers thereafter. Having grown tired of the long winters they decided to move to South Florida where Desmond combined his culinary expertise with his wife’s shrewd business sense and opened the first store of the now successfully run food franchise.

With a vision for success in the food operation, the Malcolms began bottling their own “jerk sauce” and a line of natural juices. They plan to launch those products in supermarkets. Their business acumen has also allowed them to look into extend the franchise in other cities throughout the United States and Canada.

Jamaica’s Consul General Ricardo Allicock in congratulated them for their success as business leaders and also commended them for raising the standard of excellence in the Jamaican community. Their success was an inspiration for other Jamaicans as we continue to make a positive impact in our community, he added.

Catherine and Desmond Malcolm have remained committed to their roots as they continue to give back to the Jamaican and the broader South Florida community. They have overwhelmingly supported several community organizations, making contributions to charitable, civic and educational projects.

In 1998, they established a non-profit organization “It Takes a Village” working with at-risk youth ages 14 to 22 years. Through this endeavor, they have created educational opportunities emphasizing the arts and technical skills, and a job-training program providing training and placement services.

In accepting the award, the Malcolms expressed appreciation to the Sun Sentinel for setting the example of encouraging community involvement and leadership through their daily newspaper in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

As business partners, they both spoke of their pride and enthusiasm as they imparted Jamaica’s heritage and culture to the South Florida community.

Mrs. Malcolm was also recipient of the Caribbean Business Women of the Year 2000 Award from the National Association of Caribbean Business Women in South Florida.

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