Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Business owners taking advantage of downtown Freeport's prime locations

PROUD BUSINESS OWNER – Hercules Knowles basks in the joy of opening his new pastry shop in the heart of downtown Freeport.

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) has seen a considerable increase in the number of applications for new businesses in the downtown area, this according to GBPA’s Manager of Customer Relations, Nicole Colebrooke. “New GBPA-sponsored initiatives have greatly impacted occupancy levels in the International Bazaar, and now we are experiencing renewed interest from commercial applicants in Freeport’s city centre,” she shared.

As earlier announced by GBPA-President, Ian Rolle, the Port’s business license application has been greatly streamlined with a reduction in required documentation. Additionally, the approval process has been reduced to a mere 48 hours in most cases for Bahamian applicants.

Businessman, Hercules Knowles, was amazed at how quickly his GBPA application was approved, allowing him to open up a bakery in the newly opened Downtown Welcome Centre. “The Port Authority helped me tremendously,” Knowles expressed. “They gave me an opportunity, told me what to do and helped me step-by-step with everything. The business license application process was very easy. I was surprised myself.”

Opened since November of last year, ‘Raspberry’s Pastry Shop’ boasts an assortment of beautifully decorated cakes, tarts, breads, muffins, giant cookies, pies, etc., to satisfy anyone’s sweet-tooth. Ideally located in the Welcome Centre next to Freeport’s bus transit station, Knowles’ pastry establishment caters to locals and tourists alike. He described this prime location as an opportunity of a lifetime. “I’m in the right spot. Also, being in the heart of downtown, I feel like I’m a part of the revitalization that’s taking place,” he added.
BAKING HIS WAY TO SUCCESS – Entrepreneur, Hercules Knowles’ wide selection of delicious desserts are a recipe for business success. The multi-purpose Welcome Centre is an integral component of the Downtown Turnaround project launched by GBPA in 2009. Primary aspects of the 1495 square foot handicap accessible structure include a Royal Bahamas Police Force and Road Traffic Division dual-satellite station, a Welcome Centre, restrooms and a snack shop.

 BAKING HIS WAY TO SUCCESS – Entrepreneur, Hercules Knowles’ wide selection of delicious desserts are a recipe for business success.
Knowles’ pastry shop currently employs 7 persons and is opened daily except Sundays. Its proprietor views this as an opportunity to give back. Recalling his entry into pastry-making when he entered the hospitality industry in the early 1980s, he expressed gratitude for the initial training he received from a foreign chef.

With years of experience under his apron and a yearning for business ownership, Knowles would not be deterred in his entrepreneurial efforts. “Owning a business is a challenge. It may be hard at first and you will have a few challenges but you have to stick with it. Nothing good comes easily and today, I can say I’m beginning to enjoy the fruitage of my labour,” the young businessman said as he sought to encourage others interested in moving up from employee to employer.

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