Yesterday I met Zonia Slyfield, founder of the Joy of Harvest which is a Toronto based business that makes and sells Jamaican jams, jellies and sauces.
Her beaming smile drew me in and I quickly recognized her Jamaican accent. After a brief moment observing her mannerism and the way she dealt with her customers, I knew it was worth finding out more about this woman. Recognizing that I could only grab a few minutes of her time, I asked her if I could share her story with my community.
Here is a summary of my short interview with Zonia.
Are you from Jamaica?
Yes, I am from Piedmont, Trelawny (and with a proud smile), that’s not far from Usain Bolt’s hometown (Sherwood Content).
How long have you been in Canada?
45 years, but I go back to Jamaica almost every year.
How long have you been in business?
15 years ago I started the business with my husband Calvin. At first we started out making Jamaican jams and sauces as a hobby and then we realized that we could make this into a business. All of our products are made from locally sources fruits and vegetables- and no preservatives are added.
When was the last time you visit Jamaica?
I visited last year and I am going back next month. I plan to teach Jamaican kids how to make jams, sauces and spices. I really feel passionate about helping Jamaican youths.
I ended my short interview and expressed my gratitude for her time. But before I left, I had to purchase a few items to satisfy my Jamaican taste.