3 generations of success (AS BAJAN AS FLYING FISH)James Greenidge (GP)
Fri, February 24, 2012 - 12:00 AM
My name is James Greenidge, and I run a small, independent restaurant.
I’m from Barbados – all my life. I grew up in the Crane, St Philip, on the very spot my restaurant is on.
When I was a boy, there was plenty less houses in the Crane. And the tourists used to be more frequent. They’d come to my mother’s shop on the corner. My mother sold, like, flying fish, fish cutters, ham cutters.
I went to school at Lodge.
My father got me when he was 62. He born in 1909. He died couple years back. Recently. About five, six years. In 90-something.
I got his same name, James Greenidge.
I got the name Greenidge but I don’t play cricket. I do mostly brain work.
I’m a Rasta, right through, but my parents wasn’t Rasta. They were regular Bajan Christians.
Rasta is my way of life. You know how the British got Queen Elizabeth as their queen? Well, Haile Selassie is my king.
In my mind, I tell myself I was born Rasta. But I started practising it, stop eating meat and certain things, when I was, like, 21, 22.
I think is a good thing for all Caribbean people to come to Barbados. People in the Caribbean supposed to stick together like a nation. Rather than divided. It will work better in the long run. But you always find the person with the most is don’t want to welcome it, like the person with the less. But the tables is turn, and the person with the most is end up with the less; and then they is want to welcome it!
I read the Bible but I don’t pray to it.
It’s a history book for me, not a holy book.
I listen to mostly reggae. Sizzla and Bob Marley. Conscious things. Most music nowadays is very empty, mostly promoting sex and violence. Not a lot of messages any more. But I don’t worry about young people. They’ll adapt. I have faith in them.
Be honest and truthful. Stick to your goals and dreams. That’s what my father tell me.
About five years ago, I started off with just a 16x16 small square, selling fish cutters. I had two case of beers, one case of Coke, one case Sprite. Tourists didn’t even know it existed, just local people around the area.
Two years ago, me and my daughter decide to renovate and expand.
We got an open-air outside dining room, an inside dining room and a full bar now.
It was my mother’s dream to have a restaurant. We started way back, from my grandmother with a tray selling bananas. Then my mother get a little shop. Now I got this. I got her picture painted on the front, Daphne Jackman.
We do lunch and dinner, mostly seafoods, burgers, chicken, that kind of thing. I get ’nuff support from Adriel Brathwaite, the Attorney General, the person for my constituency.
He’s a great man.
I’s try to merge the local and tourist market at my restaurant. Fuse it and blend it, so tourists could get the real Bajan experience.
A lot of tourism in Barbados is going all-inclusive, but I think hotel owners should let tourists mingle with the locals more. So they’d get more of the feeling of the place and we’d have a better chance of them coming back.
If you keep people in a hotel, they might as well have stay in their country and go to a hotel there.
Money staying in one set of hands is not good. That’s not Rasta.
If small businesses like mine can’t survive, it’s bad for the economy, the tourism industry, the whole nation. Everything would crash and crime would increase.
The best thing about doing my job is I clean up the community, because my restaurant site was a dump site. Porters and delivery guys is from around the community, the gardener, everybody.
I create work for the street fellas and block guys.
The bad part about my job is that every time I try to keep a little promotion, not too regular, once or twice a month, the neighbours call police all the time, say the noise affecting them.
Is a little fight-down.
A Bajan is the nicest person in the world. That’s what the tourists tell we.
Barbados is my home. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
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