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Family Fruit Stall Going Strong After 15 Years

Family Fruit Stall Going Strong After 15 Years
March 09
13:23 2019

After realizing that he could not and would not tolerate the treatment from one of his employers, Gilbert Jones, 26, a resident of Sandhill Village decide that he would do whatever it took to be his own boss.

Jones and his five siblings were raised off the proceeds of his mother’s small fruit stall, and for fifteen years he labored at her side until she was forced to migrate to the United States following the death of her husband.

Jones decided that it was the perfect opportunity for him to take over the family business and control it to the best of his abilities. Taking small steps, Jones has it all worked out now and boasts four employees of his own.

Jones’ fruit stall has been in operation at the corner of Church and Albert Street in downtown Belize City for the past four years, but he told the Reporter that over the course of fifteen years, due to a major fire downtown and more recent renovations, the family business has been relocated several times.

Every morning at 4:00 a.m. Jones would get up and travel from his home in Sandhill Village to pick up his fresh fruits at the market. He would then head over to the location to prepare and bag off his goods and set up his wares for 6:00a.m. when commuters would start moving through the busy business strip.

Jones told the Reporter that since he was a very small child he got interested in running the business because he noticed that every day he would be greeted with a new adventure and experience as he interacted and met new people.

“Two weeks ago I met two persons From Hawaii. They told me that they wanted to come to Belize to experience what it was like after they were told in their home country that Belize is a very dangerous place. So they came looking for evidence of crime and they were shocked when they did not see any. They wanted a local to give them a tour and so I explained to them that our people are not hostile and the only way anything would happen to them is if they would venture into a gang neighborhood alone and at night,” he told us.

Jones said that when the tourist left they told him that they would be returning to Belize to vacation for an entire month. He said that those are the kinds of experiences he welcomes in which he would be given the opportunity to change peoples’ perception of Belize from what they have been taught on the international scene.

The Reporter asked Jones whether he has been targeted by robbers and while he admitted that he has not, he explained that crime has still impacted his business indirectly. Jones explained that over the past couple of months he has been forced to close his business over the weekends due to the small number of customers that come out to do their shopping.

Another uncontrollable aspect that is starting to hinder his business and the availability of his products is climate change. Jones explained that from time to time, seasonal products would get scarce and when that happens he is forced to pay his suppliers a substantial amount of money to purchase the goods he needs.

The local businessman also explained that when a product comes into season the prices fluctuate upward and when the season is at its end the prices for the products takes another hike upward and so to make any profit he would need to tax his customers accordingly.

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