Passion for vending
By Carlos Atwell | Fri, July 27, 2012 - 11:23 AM
We see them every day – men and women who make a living selling on the streets of Barbados.
For those who crave some juicy fruit or are looking for a refreshing snow cone, they are a welcome sight, while others “see and don’t see”.
This week Street Beat is taking a closer look at a few of these people who sell their goods on the sides of the roads and even in the middle of it.
Shaquille, aka “Stunner”, as he identified himself, is one of the daring young men who weave through traffic on foot selling Bajan ackees. He operates near the traffic lights at the junction of Culloden Road and Beckles Road.
None too talkative to the Press, he would only say he sold ackees “for fun and money” and because it allowed him to meet interesting people.
His boss Colvin Codrington did most of the talking. He was at a nearby stand covered with the small green fruit, some of which he was sorting for sale.
“I have been here for around five years now. We sell ackees and mangoes every day. Once they are in season, we will be here,” he said.
However, Codrington, who is also a [horse] groom, said business was not as it used to be.
“Once upon a time, there was six different men out here selling, but it look like people cutting down the trees,” he said.
Next to him, Sherrol “Isephi” Morris sells produce. Unlike Codrington, though, she has been there only for a short time.
“I’ve been here three weeks. I used to sell by the [National Union of Public Workers], but I decided to come here due to there being more traffic,” she said.
As for business, she said she “can’t complain” and wanted to highlight a ZM driver who brought tourists to her.
“He was a good Samaritan and I want to commend him. They bought sugar apples and mangoes,” she said.
Further down Beckles Road, Ryan Jordan was patiently waiting with his snow cone cart for when thirsty players from a nearby cricket game got a break.
He said he was raised around the sweet treats business, so it was natural to start selling snow cones.
“My dad worked at Rose & LaFlamme in the jam department, and after I finished school I worked there too,” he said.
Jordan said he liked what he did, so it was not hard. But he did not see himself doing it for the rest of his life.
Marvyn Stehney has a colourful fruit stall on Pine Plantation Road. He told Street Beat he worked in the construction sector first before he started helping a friend sell fruit. Now, seven years later, the friend is gone and he remains.
“Now that school is out, things are a bit slow but I wouldn’t say people are buying less. I find it reasonable,” he said.
Finally, Randy, as he requested he be identified as, sells nuts at the junction of Pine Plantation Road and Pine Hill Road.
The veteran of the group, he has been there for more than 14 years although he said business had changed.
“Since [Cricket] World Cup, things have never been the same. Then the recession hit. But whatever you get, make it work,” he said.
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