Ridge Farms Calypso Brands proprietor Rionda-Deleveaux-Godet is on a mission, a mission to not only grow her business but with more than 40 all natural variations of pepper sauces, jellies and jams, her ‘end goal’ is to eliminate similar imports from local store shelves.
Godet, a seasoned attorney and food security advocate who heads her own firm says she ultimately wants to flip her work cycle where her practice becomes ‘the side job’ and she goes full-time into pursuing her passion in her agri-business.
“This is not the end goal. I want to replace all the foreign cans off the shelves. I intend to go into dehydrated foods, freeze dried foods. I want to replace all of that artificial stuff with just naturally organic stuff. My vision and drive is to get to the point where I practice law on the side and this is my main job. Right now my practice holds me back from doing what I really want to do in this business. I’m preparing right now by hiring great attorneys who can run the firm,” says Godet.
She adds: “I’m a firm believer in the word and the word says ‘despise not small all beginnings’. This is small but I believe it’s not about how you start it’s about how you finish.”
Mrs Godet says that her passion for farming and love for natural products began when she was a child. “Ever since I was a child I loved to grow things. The encouragement and constant affirmation motivated me to grow more things. I grew up loving and wanting to eat all things natural and Bahamian. Even today in my yard I have just about every fruit tree that and be cultivated because I love to be able to pick and eat fruit in season.”
To help understand and learn more about farming, Godet says that she took a sabbatical from her full-time employment in 2009 to work as a ‘common laborer’ in the field. “I took a sabbatical from my full-time employment and spent time at the Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre where I worked as common laborer just to learn how to farm. I didn’t go to school to study this, there I was a qualified attorney working in the field as a laborer.”
With some help from others in the industry Godet says that she was able to get started with her own hydroponics greenhouse. At first she grew tomatoes. Godet recalls one occasion when a store reneged on its arrangement and left her with a considerable amount of tomatoes. “It dropped into my spirit that when life gives you a lemons you make lemonade. I had a lot of tomatoes and made lots of lots of tomatoes sauces. In less than three days I had made three variations of a tomato sauce and they sold like hot cakes.”
“I then dabbled into the pepper sauces, into the jams and pepper jellies and that was the beginning of Ridge Farms.”
“There are many people selling jams, pepper sauces and pepper jellies. My target though is the hotels and the private island resorts. I do a lot of private labels. I also do a lot of the farmers markets. I love talking to people about how they utilize my products,” says Godet.
She prides herself in the fact that she uses no artificial ingredients or preservatives in her products. “I liken my business to just how grandma used to do it, straight from scratch,” says Godet.
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