To Be 'Jamaican Style' There Must Be Authentic Cultural Presence (Soul)
In the beginning, the "decision" to produce "patties" (as the product is locally called in the British Caribbean Islands) was motivated by nostalgia and a desire for the comfort foods of the Jamaican homeland. As the seasons changed, it reminded us of foods and cultural celebrations of the diverse cultures that represented our community; Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Harvest, etc., all significant periods that defined our cultural differences. This is the post "Jamaican Style."
The Jamaican motto is "Out of Many, One People"
Before Jamaica became independent in 1962, even as North America beckoned, England and Canada were the primary destinations for migrating Jamaicans. There were some who followed the path of Marcus Garvey and settled in the USA: New York, Harlem, Bronx, Brooklyn, etc. From this crop of pioneers came Beryl Levi, the Founder of Tower Isles' Jamaican Style Patties.
Jamaican Style Patties are traditionally a comfort food. Everyone could afford them. They were considered to be a no stress meal at home and at work. Naturally, as the Caribbean population in the USA grew the need for these comfort foods increased, and like most expanding cultures, there had to be authentic ingredients and preparations for it be culturally branded. So ''Jamaican Style'' patties required the presence of original and authentic Scotch Bonnet peppers, Pimentos, Turmeric, Annatto and Thyme of the Islands to recreate the taste, flavors, and spiritual memories. Like Kosher and Halal, if certain principles or attributes are not present, if it cannot be authenticated, it is without soul; a wolf in sheep clothing, an impostor.
Tower Isles established all these facets when they attempted to register their product with the USDA as a patty. But their initial attempt was rejected, because a patty - as defined by the American hamburger patty, is a round meatball that is flattened and placed between two round slices as bread. So the Tower Isles' version of a patty had to be reconfigured.
After analyzing the contents and cultural attributes of the product, it was decided that it could be registered as 'Tower Isles Jamaican Style Patties," with the Tower Isles Logo: the Map of the Island of Jamaica, adding credence to its authenticity and a key justification of its cultural definition. On these conditions it was then entered in the USDA Food Product Guide as a new item, that a 'Tower Isles Jamaican Style Patty' was synonymous with a turnover. As a follow-up, bids by USA Govt. agencies, schools and prisons, identified the new turnover patties on their bid sheets as '"Tower Isles Jamaican Style Patties" in order to differentiate it from the traditional American hamburger patties.
Tower Isles' secret family recipe has enabled the brand to separate itself over the years and become best in class in pizzerias, deli's, grocery, and a center plate, or best quality Hors D'oeuvre. This is further demonstrated by the wide cross-section of the market where Jamaican style patties are now present. The demand for Tower Isles' top quality patties, was far greater than we could meet, which in turn created opportunities for others manufacturers to enter the fray. They developed new methods of marketing: franchising, club stores, vending, etc.
Tower Isles focus on producing THE BEST QUALITY products has not only established the standard for the industry, but has given confidence to hotels, fine dining restaurants, and suppliers who now distribute our products to every category of customers.
Tower Isles still uses the same traditional ingredients (now termed organic), as we did forty years ago. The appreciation and demands for healthier food products have grown. It seems the market has finally caught up with the quality.