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New luxury food range launched in the UK

LAUNCH EVENT: (From left) Laurence Jones of JAMPRO , Marvely Brown, The Jamaican High Commissioner Mr Seth Ramocan, Dr Carlton Brown, Jamaican Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte and Deputy High Commissioner Angella Rose-Howell

A NEW range of premium-quality products has been launched in the UK to fill a gap in the market for authentic Jamaican food and cooking ingredients.

Marshall & Brown products are made in Jamaica using local ingredients and include six different flavoured Mama Brown rum cakes, six varieties of Jerk House sauces and seasonings, a Jamaican rum punch and a range of artisan chocolates that contain Jamaican rum.

The new food brand is the idea of entrepreneur Dr Carlton Brown, a first generation British-Jamaican with a love of Caribbean food. His mother, now 95, and late mother-in-law were both wonderful cooks and inspired Carlton and his wife Marvely to develop a premium range of authentic Jamaican foods and beverages which pay homage to their mothers and their own heritage.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Marvely Brown (left), Mrs Olive Brown (Carlton’s mum who inspired the cake recipes) and Dr Carlton Brown CEO of Marshall & Brown

The launch event was held recently at the Jamaican High Commission in London which was hosted by Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Seth George Ramocan, and attracted a host of celebrity guests, including rum ambassador, Ian Burrell, as well as trade and industry personnel and other well-wishers.

The audience heard about the story behind the creation of this new brand by Dr Brown who explained that it all started from when he was growing up in a Jamaican household.

He said: “Growing up my mother was always cooking or baking. If someone was getting married she would always want to get involved and cook things like Jamaican patties. She was an entrepreneur herself and had a micro catering business and my grandfather was an early retailer in Jamaica. He had one of the first grocery shops in Mount Diablo, near Linstead, in the Parish of St Catherine. So food and business are both in my blood.”

He went on to say: “For most Jamaicans, family, friends and food are incredibly important and everyone likes to bake. Growing up we always had people round and there was excessive food and drink. Jerk chicken with rice and peas was a Sunday favourite and mum was always going to the local markets to source the freshest spices and seasonings.

“Later I met my wife Marvely who shares my passion for food, and then her mother Eugenia Marshall who loved to cook and bake. I would always look forward to going to her house.”

Following a meeting with JAMPRO and the Jamaican High Commissioner in London, Dr Brown, who is also a management consultant and keynote speaker, was invited to attend the diaspora conference in Jamaica. It was during the trip two years ago that he came up with the idea for Marshall & Brown. While there he met some producers and potential suppliers he thought would be able to make luxury products that would appeal to the British market and meet the increasing demand for foods from around the world.

RUM FLAVOUR: Ian Burrell (left) The Global Rum Ambassador holding Mama Brown’s Rum Punch with Dr Carlton Brown

He said: “Jamaica is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and the cuisine is becoming very popular too. I want to offer people the best of Jamaica with my authentic premium products. There are other Jamaican foods on the market such as jerk sauces but the difference is that mine are made in Jamaica and we also have a Jamaican mustard sauce that is unique.”

“My aim is for Marshall & Brown to be perceived as the premium, luxury Jamaican brand. Going forward we expect to add more products to the range. We have some exciting UK distributors lined up and others who are keen to stock the brand which is also available on Amazon. Some of products like the sauces are designed for everyday use and others like the premium cakes make ideal gifts as they are beautifully packaged. We hope to make them available in airports and similar outlets,” Carlton added.

Carlton spent two years researching the market and world foods in the UK, running focus groups, developing the brand and talking to suppliers and going through due diligence before he felt ready to launch Marshall & Brown.

Also addressing the audience was High Commissioner Mr Seth George Ramocan, who praised Carlton on launching a product which brings investment opportunities to Jamaica.

He said: “We welcome this development as one of the primary things we focus on is encouraging investment in Jamaica. This is a perfect example with Dr. Brown going back to rediscover his traditions and the culture shared by family members who lived in Jamaica.

“Dr Brown has developed a range of finely packaged products that are fit for the international market. The launch will be the start of a great new venture that has the potential to develop into one of the finest companies that we can be very proud of. It’s a great example of what’s possible and Jamaica welcomes this foreign investment, particularly from a valuable member of our Diaspora here in the UK.”

Laurence Jones, manager european region and spokesperson, added: “The Agency was pleased to facilitate Dr Brown’s vision of a line of products made in Jamaica and distributed in the UK.

“This is an outstanding project that we are happy to see launched, as it includes the use of Jamaican produce, and the products are made in Jamaica specifically for the UK. This not only ensures an authentic Jamaican experience, but provides opportunities for local farmers and manufacturers to access a new market by doing business with another company. We anticipate great success for Marshall & Brown, and we look forward to seeing the company’s future developments in the United Kingdom.”

Some of the products such as the rum punch and chocolates are produced in the UK using Jamaican rum. The rest are produced in Jamaican and all the ingredients, including thyme and onions, are sourced in Jamaica.

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