Ken­shia rev­el­ling in Boozer’s Par­adise

The Star (Jamaica) - - FEATURE -

If Ken­shia ‘Chin’ Ed­wards is to be de­scribed by one word, it would be ‘de­ter­mined’. Ed­wards has al­ways wanted to be an en­tre­pre­neur from her days at Gar­vey Maceo High in Claren­don.

“I like hav­ing my own thing. I like to be in­de­pen­dent. That’s how I’ve been even when I was small,” she said. “When I came home from school, I used to work in a shop for a lit­tle.”

She then moved to Ocho Rios where one of her sis­ters lived, and over time, she opened her first bar.

She re­vealed that she ac­tu­ally bought much of her equip­ment like mea­sur­ing cups be­fore she ever opened a bar, not­ing that “I had a plan.”

After clos­ing that bar, she went abroad for a bit, but when she re­turned to Ja­maica, she headed to the south­ern side of the is­land.

She knew friends in Gaze­land, a com­mu­nity in Nain, St El­iz­a­beth, and be­ing the de­ter­mined in­di­vid­ual she is, she sought to open a bar there.

But mis­for­tune struck shortly after open­ing.

NO GIV­ING UP

“Dem rob me and me move from there. Mi never give up still,” she said. “Some­times God tests us, you get a test to push your­self. That is me. I al­ways push my­self even if I don’t have any­body to mo­ti­vate me. I never give up.”

Un­de­terred, Ed­wards sought an­other spot, and about three years ago, Boozer’s Par­adise was cre­ated.

Iron­i­cally, the spot she cur­rently uses was avail­able when she first went to Gaze­land. But she could not come up with the money in time.

“And you see it come right back to me? That’s why I know that what is for you, you must get it. This was for me,” she said.

Most of her customers are from the area, but she has loyal fans from as far as Kingston.

“I get a lot of truck driv­ers. When dem park, they block off di space. I have to tell them ‘set good and fix up’,” she laughed.

She uses a bar­maid some­times, but she is mostly be­hind the counter.

“Peo­ple love to see me. They say they like my per­son­al­ity,” she smiled. “It all de­pends on cus­tomer ser­vice. That is im­por­tant.”

There is a space be­side her and she would love to ex­pand her bar into it, but Ed­wards knows all about be­ing pa­tient.

“Maybe a just lit­tle time it will take. It soon hap­pen, just wait,” she smiled.

ER­ROL CROSBY PHOTOS

Ken­shia ‘Chin’ Ed­wards (left) and her friend and loyal cus­tomer, Sab­rina Poyser.

Ken­shia ‘Chin’ Ed­wards pours some white rum for the ‘Rumpari’ mix.

Ken­shia ‘Chin’ Ed­wards wel­comes you to Boozer’s Par­adise in Gaze­land, St El­iz­a­beth.

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