Mother of six selling coconuts for a living
Despite the stereotypes that some jobs are for men, Maxine Henry does not subscribe to that outdated notion.
As you proceed along the Linstead Bypass in St Catherine, you can find the 43-year-old Henry serving her customers with sweet coconut water and a broad smile.
The mother of six revealed that she has been selling jelly coconuts, which she chops herself, for about two decades and still relishes the daily routine.
"I usually sell sometimes at the Coronation Market in Kingston, but this is my real spot,'' said Henry. She said that she inherited the spot in Mickleton from her mother whom was also a coconut seller.
"I was born in Point Hill district, but each time I come here I would help my mother chop and sell coconuts," Henry said. The work is very difficult she explained, but said there is a fulfilment that comes from making an honest living to help take care of my family.
"This woman work hard for har money," Benjamin Nelson, a taxi operator, said. "As pretty as she is, it is a pleasure to watch her swing the machete to serve her customers.''
The senior vendor said that she purchases her coconuts from the nearby Tulloch Farm and transports them to the stall.
"The people who buy from me come from all over the island," Henry said. "Whenever a person sees the stall and stop, I serve them. Many come back and some don't, but I respect and serve them the best way that I can." In addition to the coconuts, Henry also sells sugar cane and ripe bananas, however, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused her to scale back which leaves only the coconuts.
Henry said that she tried other businesses, including a bar, but those didn't last too long. Therefore she continues to wield her machete to prepare coconuts for her customers.
"I will continue to sell my coconut as I enjoy serving people and selling coconuts is my way," Henry said.