Cancer survivor turns passion into business

August 14, 2019
Dr Elorine Turner Pryce with some of her health food products.
Contributed Dr Elorine Turner Pryce with some of her health food products.

Breast cancer survivor Dr Elorine Turner Pryce has turned her passion for healthy eating into a thriving business.

Through her vegan food line, Eden Joy Whole Foods, she is on a mission to promote the healing power of food, while earning an income.

Dr Turner Pryce, who was diagnosed with stage-two invasive breast cancer five years ago at age 49, credits her recovery to the holistic diet, which inspired her to establish the business in 2001.

"For the last 30 years, I have been very committed to natural health and then when I got diagnosed with breast cancer and I got restored, that kind of cemented my focus on educating people about natural and healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition. Eden Joy is about helping people to be healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our motto is 'It is simply a matter of life'. That is how we operate and that is our mantra," she said.

The company, located at 79 Manchester Avenue in May Pen, Clarendon, provides a range of raw and vegan food products for the health-conscious consumer seeking alternatives to the processed foods available on the market.

Products manufactured by the company include lactose-free cheese, cheddar-style cheese, yogurt and vegan-style butter, vegan sausages, vegan sandwich middles, and dry mixes for gluten-free bread.

Dr Turner Pryce, who is a certified vegan chef and holistic nutritionist, with a PhD in forensic mediation and counselling, says she strives to make her products as natural as possible, using locally grown produce to ensure that the highest quality ingredients are in every recipe.

"We try as much as possible to stay at least 95 per cent Jamaican. We use the things around us - breadfruit, sweet potato, coconut, cashew," she said.

Dr Turner Pryce said that in the early years of operation, Eden Joy Whole Foods was "like a hobby".

However, as the demand grew, she decided to seek assistance to boost production, and in July 2018, she approached the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).

"From the very first day, it was so overwhelming the assistance I received. JBDC worked with me in such a way, I felt safe in getting the kind of support I needed to grow. Now I am doing business," she said. "In the last year or two, they have literally walked me through and got me from the idea to the shelf."

The entrepreneur noted that it was through the JBDC that she benefited from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) Voucher for Technical Assistance programme.

Under this programme, the DBJ assists micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to strengthen their managerial and administrative capabilities and access business credit to expand and upgrade their operations.

Turning to her future plans, she intends to expand the Eden Joy product line.

"We are going to be launching some ready meals that are vegan/vegetarian, low-calorie, gluten-free ... . We are hoping to do that in another two or three months," she said.

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