Baba Roots - Darliston's power tonic
Like its popular brew has been doing to its many consumers, the manufacturers of the famous natural 'roots' tonic Baba Roots have been putting a spark into the lives of the residents of Darliston, in Westmoreland, where the production plant has been located since its inception 17 years ago.
The company, which is the brainchild of entrepreneur William Webb, has been investing heavily in community outreach programmes in Darliston. In addition, it has been a source of full-time employment for numerous residents.
Webb, who grew up in Darliston, began making the tonic in 2000 and has since evolved into being one of the community's premier entrepreneurs.
David Dennisur, the chief executive officer of Baba Roots, said that the company's objective is to keep the tonic as unique as possible while promoting local farmers' productivity.
"The product is Jamaican, and we intend to keep it Jamaican," said Dennisur. "All the ingredients that are used in the production of the Baba Roots drink are from indigenous Jamaican plants.
"We are trying to bring the product to a level where it can not only be profitable, but you can see the benefit that can be generated for the community, and it will give farmers the benefit of expanding their production," added Dennisur.
The Baba Roots factory currently employs 20 persons from Darliston. In addition, it has opened its doors for future employees by bringing in students regularly to see first hand how the facility prepares plants such as medina, sarsaparilla, pimento, and ra-moon leaves and bark to make the Baba Roots tonic without using artificial chemicals.
"During the holidays, we take students in, give them exposure to the product, and have them work among the employees at the factory," Dennisur said. "We also assist the schools around the area from time to time, and we are always willing to partner with any project that we see as worthwhile for the benefit of the community."