Jewele Browne
Jewele Browne

An innate talent for baking, a love for the hustle, and top-tier personable skill gave Jewelé Browne the confidence to strike out on her own as the proud owner of J's Tasty Treats.

The young entrepreneur told The Sun it was a no-brainer to delve into baking as she grew up among superb cooks.

"My mom is a great cook, and so is her side of the family. My entire life, I have seen her cooking, so I followed in her footsteps," Jewelé laughed. "In Primary School, I helped my mom to sell food and assisted in the kitchen. So, the love of cooking started at home."

J's Tasty Treats focuses on cakes but expands into catering for various functions.

The company founder said self-employment was the right move as she enjoys the opportunities it brings.

"I chose to work for myself to give more to the world," Jewelé said. "I have done my fair share of working for other people and did not always feel satisfied unless it was something there was a passion for or directly impacted lives. Working for myself allows me to create employment and expand my creativity."

This head baker fondly recalls the humble beginnings of her side hustle almost a decade ago and is pleased with how things have progressed since then.

"I baked my first cake - my birthday cake - in college. It was very ugly," she grinned, "but tasted really good. I figured I could offer this to people. Eventually, I started telling people I do cakes, and they started contacting me."

Jewelé describes her entrepreneurial journey as amazing, expressing heartfelt gratitude to her business mentor and the Dominica Youth Business Trust (DYBT).

"My business mentor, Mr. Vic, is excellent. I have been making good strides in my company to the point where I could buy equipment without a loan," Jewelé said. "Now that I can put a hundred per cent effort and love into my business, I am happy with the results."

Browne also shared the most rewarding aspects of her job.

"I can manage my stress level; I don't have to take on more work than I can handle, and I can spend more time on the things I love with people I love," she said.

Additionally, Jewelé acknowledges obstacles to being a financially successful entrepreneur in Dominica.

"The most challenging part is price control," she said. "For example, a 1kg package of icing sugar was about ten dollars retail. It became scarce for a while, and when it returned to the shelves, it was fourteen dollars. That is a big jump in price. Now Christmas is coming up, so there will be a shortage of other ingredients."

In her years of hustling and running her own business, Jewelé has endured her fair share of experiences and can suggest how to create a more secure environment for local entrepreneurs.

"Most important is networking and sharing information in the right circles," she said. "When things that benefit entrepreneurs – like concessions, loans, programmes, etc - are available, they should be made public. Also, people within institutions should know what is being offered; that way, you can get accurate information via phone."

As regards people eyeing entrepreneurship, Browne is frank in her advice to them: "Firstly, not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship. In life, if you follow your passion, you will find your purpose. For some people, that means working an eight to four, which is okay. As additional revenue, you can start a side hustle to fund other aspects of your life. Also, you have to be very people-oriented because your success depends on happy customers."

Jewelé pointed out that J's not only creates tasty treats but is intent on extending its other, already existing, services to the public.

"We want to expand and further develop our offerings to cater to an overall experience, so table décor, balloon arrangements, face painting and more, she said. " We want to be the ones to make your occasion even more memorable."