IAN FERGUSON: Stay at home or go to work?


Ian Ferguson

As we approach the much-anticipated 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence, I pause to reflect on a model Bahamian business that has become a mainstay and beacon within our private sector.

Mortimer Candies has been a landmark in the ‘Over The Hill’ community since 1928. The business was started by Ulric Mortimer Senior, who first learned to make candies from his mother when he was a child. He was motivated to set up a manufacturing company to provide jobs for young black children in his community. After attending candy college in the US, he first opened his doors on Hospital Lane and, as his business became better known, moved to the location on East Street where Mortimer Candies is today, trading under the name of ‘The Best Ever Candy Company’.

Mortimer Candies is best known for the mints that made it famous, but it also makes and sells other types of candy, as well as fudge and traditional Bahamian treats. While the manufacturing process is partially automated, many of the candies are made by hand, and the old equipment and recipes used by Ulric Mortimer are still employed today.

Mortimer Candies, one of the few manufacturing companies in The Bahamas, is family-owned and operated, and has been for generations.

After many years, it remains a “sweet Bahamian tradition”.

My reflection on this business today is three-fold:

  1. Mortimer’s Candy Kitchen is a good example of succession in business. Without knowing the back story or challenges that may have arisen in turning the business over to the second, and now third, generation of Mortimers, the fact that they have maintained their presence for nearly one full century is a good tribute to families working together to establish a brand’s legacy.

  2. Mortimer’s Candy Kitchen is a good example of a local community business that has maintained its cultural authenticity. From then to now, Mortimers provides true Bahamian treats for the community that accurately represent our appetisers, drinks and desserts.

  3. Mortimer’s Candy Kitchen represents a model family-owned small business that has been able to overcome racial discrimination, navigate a global pandemic and still maintain relevance in our changing environment. While the company has retained on its main menu long-standing staple items, we have also seen an important product evolution that has positively impacted their sales.

Kudos to Mortimer’s Candy Kitchen for demonstrating the power and value of small businesses in our local economy.

We are looking forward to many more years of enjoying these sweet treats.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organisations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@ coralwave.com.


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