Jamaican Business Owner in Canada Wins Small Business Grant Contest

Jamaican Business Owner in Canada Wins Small Business Grant Contest - Opal Rowe

Jamaican Opal Rowe, the owner and founder of Stush Patties, is one of three winners of Purolator’s True North Small Business Grant Contest for 2021. Stush Patties makes gourmet Jamaican patties made with natural and locally sourced ingredients and sells the patties in specialty groceries and eateries. Prizes include $20,000 in cash, $15,000 worth of marketing promotions, and $500 worth of Purolator shipping at no cost.

Rowe, who is originally from Kingston, but has lived in Canada for 20 years, taught herself to make the iconic patties and believed it was her mission to introduce the tasty item to diners in Toronto. Her gourmet patty company now offers a variety of patties, including the classic beef version and others filled with curried shrimp, jerk chicken, lentils, Swiss chard, and salted tofu. Before starting her patty company, she operated a home care agency, but felt an intense desire to make gourmet patties after reading about Patties Express, but she found that her craving for a real Jamaican patty was not satisfied with the available options. With Stush – the name is a Jamaican patois word meaning “proper” or “good” – she has succeeded in transforming the patty into a premium product that uses top-quality ingredients in both her vegan and meat-based recipes.

Stush Patties Jamaican Beef Patty 2

Rowe overcame significant challenges when starting her patty business as it launched just before Canada was stricken with COVID-19 lockdowns. In spite of this, however, she managed at times to make and deliver 50 dozen patties to weddings and parties. She began to sell her patties wholesale to cafes and groceries at the beginning of 2021, and she currently supplies Stush patties to businesses in 30 locations in six cities. Her patties can also be found at pop-up operations in Toronto, mainly in bars and breweries.

Purolator is a top provider of integrated freight, package, and logistics solutions and has been in business for more than three decades. Its grant contest launched in the summer of 2020. Participants in the grant contest came from throughout Canada and were asked to show how their small businesses positively impact their local communities and make Canada stronger as a country. The grant funds provided by Purolator will help the winners in their efforts to grow and support the economy of Canada. According to John Ferguson, the president and CEO of Purolator, the contest generated thousands of submissions and nominations, showing the extent of Canada’s support for its small businesses.

Photo – Opal Rowe

About the author

Stephanie Korney