CPJ hands over Cru Bar to new operator

Patrons at Cru Bar in Kingston

Caribbean Producers (Jamaica) Limited (CPJ) has entered into a management agreement with Taste of Life Limited, a move which will give CPJ room to focus on its core operations.

The agreement was finalized on January 17, 2020.  Under its terms, Taste of Life Limited will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations and management of CRU, a bar and restaurant operated by CPJ and located at leased premises at 71 Lady Musgrave Road in Kingston.

“This agreement will allow CPJ to concentrate on its core business while benefiting from the expertise of Taste of Life in the growth and development of the CRU brand,” the CPJ notice, posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, said.

CPJ is a 25-year-old company founded in April 1994 by Mark Hart and Thomas Tyler as an institutional foodservice distributor selling consumable products to the hospitality industry, as outlined on its website. The company is now a major distributor of food, non-food, wines & spirits distributor for internationally renowned brands. It also manufactures its own line of beverages and meat products. In 2011, it raised $420 million on the Jamaica Stock Exchange in an IPO and embarked on expansion. The company expanded to Kingston. Its headquarters remains in Montego Bay where it operates in over 120,000 sq ft of space, housing offices, manufacturing plants and refrigerated and dry warehouse space.

CPJ describes itself currently as one of the largest local distributors of wines and spirits, offering globally recognised brands, namely Bacardi, Grey Goose, Dewar’s, Rémy Cointreau, Yellow Tail, Concha y Toro, Taittinger and Louis Latour. In December 2012, in a bid to establish itself in the retail market, CPJ opened its retail store CPJ Market with The Deli and CRU Bar and Kitchen at Courtyard 71, located at 71 Lady Musgrave Road.

It has also opened CPJ St Lucia. The CPJ Saint Lucia Ltd Distribution Centre and Meat Processing Facility, a joint venture between Du Boulay’s Bottling and Caribbean Producers Jamaica, held its opening ceremony on Thursday, November 5, 2015. Located at Cul de Sac, the company represented a US $25 million invested in new plant and equipment and employment of 40 locals.