Highly recognized Jamaican restaurateur Anna-Kay Tomlinson, owner of the lauded Miss T’s Kitchen in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on February 5th officially began a promising business accelerator program with the Caribbean’s leading accelerator, Branson Center of Entrepreneurship.
The Branson Centre was launched in 2011 by global business magnate, Richard Branson in Kingston, Jamaica. The Center focuses on moving high potential Caribbean businesses, within the J$25 – J$200 million revenue bracket, to the next level, through world-class entrepreneurial support. The nonprofit’s goal is play a significant role in creating dynamic, vibrant Caribbean economies. It’s main hub is currently located in Kingston, Jamaica.
Admiration for Branson
According to Tomlinson, who opened the doors to Miss T’s in 2009, she joined Branson Center’s program due to her “absolute admiration for Richard Branson as an entrepreneur and person,” and her “desire to take Miss T’s to the next level and become a market leader.”
She also noted that she believes the program will help her garner support and partnership opportunities to elevate her creative talent, improve her financial and leadership skills, as well as improve profitability, and move the business ahead of the game technologically.
Only gourmet restaurant
Miss T’s has made its mark as the only gourmet Jamaican restaurant throughout the island. The artsy eatery, pulls heavily on Jamaican culture in its design, and offers rustic country cuisine amidst a colorful cultural ambiance in an outdoor setting.
Since opening the restaurant a decade ago, Tomlinson has been highlighted by many overseas media outlets and met many international celebrities. She has cooked with celebrity chefs Guy Fieri, Andrew Zimmern and Antoine Sicotte. The restaurant has been featured on the Food Network, The Bachelor, Real Housewives of Atlanta, Vogue, Conde Naste Traveller, Elle magazine, Town and Country, En Route, West Jet, the Financial Times of London and The Sun. Tomlinson has also won the highly recognized Jamaica Observer Food Awards each year, from 2012 – 2016.
Expose Jamaican food globally
Tomlinson’s mission is to expose Jamaican food to the world, like the country has already accomplished with its music and sports. “My passion for Jamaica, our food and pleasing people, led me to opening Miss T’s Kitchen in 2009. I wanted to create something different, and ensure it had that authentic Jamaican experience with WOW ambiance, service and food,” she shares.
The future of Miss T’s, she says, includes more locations, more products, a cookbook and becoming a market leader for brand Jamaica. It’s these feats she hopes her participation with the Branson Centre will help her achieve.
Viable investment pipeline
“We have created a viable investment pipeline for entrepreneurs in our program by bringing together one of the strongest groups of venture capitalists to the table,” said Branson Centre CEO, Lisandra Rickards. “Investors include NCB Capital Markets, PROVEN Investments, PanJam Investments, GK Capital and Norbrook Equity Partners,” she further explains.
Branson Centre has already bolstered significant growth in the Caribbean business ecosystem. The nonprofit’s team is positioned to create even greater change for the entrepreneurs it serves through its recent partnership with this group of heavyweight Caribbean corporations.