Aug 13, 2022 News
By Davina Bagot
Kaieteur News – Popular gospel artiste, Saiku Andrews, yesterday opened the doors to his second Andrews’ Supermarket outlet located at the corner of Light and Robb Streets, Georgetown.
The opening of the event was graced by members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Timothy Tucker. Director of Business at the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, John Edghill was also present to celebrate the opening ceremony with the businessman and his family.
Saiku Andrews, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the supermarket told the gathering during a humble launch that he always had the vision and was importing products on a small scale before saving enough to invest into a building in South Ruimveldt, where his first store kicked off. A few shelves, the businessman said, was the initial step to diving head on to selling sugar and eventually more food items were added.
This new location he pointed out will provide jobs for 30 to 35 persons. The businessman was proud to note that his staff did not all require a Degree in their education, nor be of a specific race. In fact he reported that he feels joy in giving persons an opportunity to grow and develop themselves, especially if they come from a similar background to his where they are frowned upon or from a single parent home.
He was keen to acknowledge his wife’s support explaining, “We would sit sometimes and just start talking about what we wanna do and one of the things we said is, if we are ever going to put our name out there, …it has to become a household name.” Andrews noted that today he is proud to say the business name is not just there for “fashion” but is in an environment where customers can say for sure that they have gotten a lot from his brand.
“No matter the space we are operating we are always thinking about our capacity so when the moment comes for us to expand we have that capacity and that simple mantra, that simple decision is what has allowed us to take on Andrews Supermarket at Robb Street,” Saiku disclosed.
Furthermore, the CEO shared that he felt compelled to break the glass ceiling and the weight that has been pressing him, cognizant that some Afro-Guyanese limit themselves due to the negative words they hear in the past, as well as the thoughts that continue to plague their minds, which they end up believing. “There is this burden that comes over you…you have to do this well, you have to be successful for the little guy from West Ruimveldt coming up that he might be able to look and say ‘hey, if Saiku could have done this fatherless, no gold-spoon in he mouth…then I can do it too.’
That is a burden I am willing to bear,” he said.
In an interview with this newspaper, Andrews said in the initial stage of starting up the business he was faced with financial challenges but was able to conquer those in stages. Another hurdle he said he encountered was Guyanese visiting the store and judging it based on location and the owner however, he was fully prepared and displayed an attitude in which made visitors pleased.
When it comes to the new location, the businessman said customers can expect a one-stop shop, with fully packed shelves loaded with fresh green vegetables to bottled beverages to help celebrate the Caribbean industry. More importantly, the CEO noted that customers can expect friendly service.
Notably, he explained that he has been reaching out to small local suppliers to help stock his new outlet with a touch of Guyanese products.
When it comes to future expansion, the businessman indicated that Andrews Supermarket plans to become the biggest Guyanese-owned retail store in the country and plans to rollout more locations in other parts of the country at an appropriate time.
The PSC lauded the businessman for taking such a bold step and investing in the supermarket. The Ministry of Tourism also congratulated Andrews on taking up the mantle from his predecessor of the same location, Nigel’s Supermarket, as there is a need for more locally owned supermarkets in the country.
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