Bahamian Brewery and Beverage (Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits) was of the many businesses on Grand Bahama that was adversely affected by the passing of Hurricane Dorian in September. Floodwaters due to record level storm surge, left the brewery at a standstill, as much of the company’s machinery and inventory was compromised.
General Manager for Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits, Nassau and Family Islands, Gary Sands acknowledged that while the brewery suffered extensive damages due to Dorian, the company’s first Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits location, on BBB’s premises, Queens Highway is now back up-and-running, and fully functional.
He added that the store has even been upgraded and expanded, thanks to Dorian’s landfall.
During a recent interview with this daily Sands informed, “We did not have too much damages sustained to the structure, but all the Brewery’s machinery was pretty much wiped out. About 80 percent of the inventory was pretty much destroyed.”
Now two months post-Hurricane Dorian, Sands noted, “Things are very good at the retail store in Grand Bahama.
“We just remodeled our Liquor Store here, Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits #1, in Freeport. We expanded our wine room and made some changes that we have always wanted to make. Today (October 28) was the first day that we officially opened to the public.”
Questioned whether the new renovations and subsequent expansion were in the making for the local liquor store prior to Dorian, Sands responded, “No. We took advantage of the opportunity.”
Moving forward, Sands noted that customers can expect the same professional service at the retail store. “Right now, we are the agents for AB InBev (Anheuser-Busch) and so, we will still be providing Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Presidente, Presidente Light, Becks, Stella, Becks Non-Alcoholic and O’Doul’s. We will still be distributing our wines and spirits’ portfolio as well.”
Sands added that there are a few projects on stream for the island and he is optimistic about the island’s economic resurgence, and BBB wants to be a part of that.
“We have about 70 people that we employ here, just in Grand Bahama, and we are obligated to them as well in making sure that we sustain long-term jobs and growth of the company. These employees are not just employees of ours; they have been working for my grandfather some 20-plus years ago and they have been working for us for 11-plus years.
“And so, they are family members to us. We do not know them as employees we know them by name and so, with that type of connection it is harder just to sever ties. We have an obligation to them. As we go to their homes, we have dinners; it is that type of relationship that keeps us afloat and that type of determination between us and our teams in Nassau that keeps us where we are today,” stated the General Manager.
He continued by encouraging their loyal customers and others to assist in the island’s rebound by shopping locally, especially at Jimmy’s.
“To support the Brewery itself, obviously, the Brewery had to generate funds to reopen, re-launch Sands Beer and to pay for the equipment. For that to happen, our loyal customers must shop with us. With that support, it will help us to rebuild and open the Brewery sooner rather than later.
“Our major focus is on our core brands and to fill the pipeline will take quite a long time. However, once we settle down to some normalcy and depending on how the market goes with the products that we are able to produce on a normal basis, then there can possibly see some new products in the future,” said Sands.
Questioned when management anticipates the Brewery to be back up-and-running, Sand replied, “We do not plan to have the first case of Sands running until mid-April 2020.”
Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits locations are found throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas – New Providence, Abaco and North Eleuthera, in addition to the Grand Bahama location. The Bahamian Brewery is the parent company of Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits.