And those changes are all aimed at you, the customer. The three provision services combined represent the leading food and beverage importer, retailer and distributor in Antigua and Barbuda. 2014 marks the company’s 33rd anniversary and over the years, there have been countless transformations in the provisioning industry: from a marked increase in variety of produce, to the range of internationally recognizable brands and even to the way customers are served. It is a transitioning era and in response to this, IPL has a fresh agenda which will revitalize the company’s image, services and products. Carla Gonsalves-Barreiro – Commercial Business Manager In order to retain their success, IPL is scrutinizing every aspect of the business to fulfill an objective: to exceed their customer’s expectations through the quality of their products, and with competent and consistent service. To achieve this, the personable Carla Gonsalves- Barreiro, IPL’s new Commercial Business Manager, seeks to ensure that in every aspect of the business, ‘excellence is key’.
Carla aims to breathe new life into IPL in order to provide the customer with a seamless experience each time they visit: “I’m currently remerchandising the stores so that brands are better highlighted. We’ve found that the public have been a little intimidated o shop at our wine store, Best Cellars, so I’m putting together a range of welcome events for customers to sample products, meet the staff and familiarize themselves with the store”. Her role is primarily customer-focused, designed to educate clients about the brands they represent. “I am restyling the layout of Best Cellars so customers enjoy an improved shopping experience and plan to use better in-store visual displays. Improved customer service is one of my goals: to retrain staff on the importance of quality service and inspire them to build knowledge. Gourmet Basket supermarket will be reviewed in next phase.”
Tony Theodore – Sales Manager
IPL delivers an indispensable provisioning service as a “one-stop shopping” emporium. As demands have altered, they have continued to provide a trustworthy service, ensuring clients’ needs are met. Tony Theodore explains: “Our local knowledge is a vital commodity, especially with our valued yachting clients. It means we are always on hand to assist with prompt information or quickly resolve problems. We have been building relationships with pre-existing island companies to streamline our services.” which for IPL will mean faster, more reliable deliveries and better customer services. IPL are prepared to accommodate the evolving purchasing trends in the yachting, restaurant and hotel industries. “Trends guide our future plans,” says Tony. “We are moving towards offering an online service for our customers and are currently building a concise product list so that provisioners can order stock effortlessly between our 3 companies”. Gourmet Basket sells entirely ‘A-grade’ fresh fruits and vegetables. Tony jests, “Not all apples are apples – you have to compare like with like. You can see instantly the quality of our produce. We strive to strike a balance between providing premium produce, but at competitive prices, sourced only from trusted specialist providers.”
Janet Broadus – Brand & Retail Development Manager
An important aspect of IPL’s provisioning business is raising brand awareness. Consumers initially need to appreciate a product’s qualities and its value before they make that decision to buy. Janet Broadus, who has worked at IPL for the last 6 years, is responsible for developing brand recognition and increasing the company’s market share, along with growth of their retail market.Janet explains: “I manage a team of very talented sales and marketing representatives each of whom is an ambassador of our brands. Their public relations role contributes significantly to the success of the brands that they promote.”
In 2015, IPL are unfolding an extensive campaign aiming to increase public recognition of their products. “There are numerous events planned throughout 2015. San Pellegrino will be a sponsor of the Classic Yacht Regatta, held in April. Pine Hill remains involved in school sports and family activities as we promote healthy living. Pepsi sponsors local and international golf tournaments and Banks Beer is currently the most sought after Beer for fetes and celebrations.” Banks Beer, brewed in Barbados and fairly recently retailed by IPL, has made significant growth in the market. Janet denies being surprised at this growth, adding, “Banks is a premium pilsner style lager and is one of the leading beers in the Caribbean.” Janet and her team also represent Pine Hill Fruit Juices & Milks, Pepsi, Tropicana and San Pellegrino. “I think special mention must be made of Pine Hill Dairies, producers of Pine Hill Juices, a household name here in Antigua. Pine Hill has consistently been the number one juice of choice for Antiguans for the past 30 years. It would be remiss of me not to give the brand the accolade it deserves.”
Island Provision Distribution supplies the island with a range of imported, local, fresh, frozen produce, meat, poultry, dairy and beverages. The Best Cellars Wines & Spirits shop is the quintessential wine and champagne purveyor in Antigua. Importing over 650 different wines, they take pride in supplying the best hotels, restaurants and yachts on island. The Gourmet Basket offers an array of the finest quality fruits, vegetables, Black Angus beef, seafood, local meats and produce, as well as a range of specialty products such as international gourmet condiments and spices. They also provide custom-made Gift Baskets.
In closing Carla Gonsalves-Barreiro observes, “As much as we are doing our best to improve our services – let us know how we are doing and if you can identify areas where we can improve. Our service is a two-way street.”