Glenor Chang and her late husband Leslie Josephs emigrated to cold Canada from warm Jamaica in 1977, with the idea that they could make a living by making freezies as they did on the island. The Audacity of Hope! Blessed with four sons and working long hours they succeeded mightily! Today Kisko freezies are a staple of summer in Toronto, loved by the young and not so young. Kisko now distributes across Canada through the largest supermarket chains and is constantly improving by adding natural juices and ecological packaging. The company is known for building schools for pre-school children in rural Jamaica.
Jennifer Chin immigrated to Canada with her family when she was just 12 years old. She was part of the first graduating class of Francis Lieberman High School, and obtained a degree in business from the University of Western Ontario. She is now general director of George’s Tastee Foods Corp, a landmark in the fast growing city of Markham. Since 2017, Jennifer has served two terms as President of the Tsung Tsin Association of Ontario (TTA). Transforming TTA into a hive of activity, Jennifer helped its members stay active and connected to their heritage. Her co-operation with Councillor Joe Li and the City of Markham was instrumental in bringing the 31st World Hakka Conference to Markham.
Jennifer earned the black belt in taekwondo alongside her three daughters. She is an avid cook and baker, and has been documenting traditional Jamaican and Jamaican-Chinese recipes to pass on to future generations.
Jane Ku is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Coordinator for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Windsor. She has published in the areas of transnational feminist interrogation of racism, imperialism, diasporic identity, immigrant integration and belonging, Canadian multiculturalism and political organizing. Recently, she published an article in Canadian Ethnic Studies on being recognized as Chinese and Hakka in Canada (Ku 2019), and another on renarrating Japanese Canadian incarceration during World War II (Ku 2021). These publications are part of an autoethnography to explore her Chinese Hakka and Indian roots.
Jamaican-born Thalia Lyn is an inspirational leader with experience across many industries, including teaching, investments, and diplomacy. Her most celebrated success, however, is in pioneering the most popular indigenous chain of Quick Service Restaurants on the Jamaican food landscape – Island Grill.
Thalia is the founder and CEO. Inspired by the vibrant flavours of Jamaica and the iconic Jerk Chicken, Island Grill has morphed into a chain of 19 restaurants in Jamaica and Barbados. Island Grill’s commitment to “Eat Good, Live Good” galvanizes its championship of innovation in all aspect of restaurant operations – from healthier Jamaican menu items to earth friendly packaging.
Thalia has been showered with National Honours from Jamaica and also from the Kingdom of Thailand, which she represents as the Royal Thai Honorary Consul General. She is the recipient of numerous Business and Philanthropic awards and is a member of the Private Sector Organization, Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Assoc., Women’s Business Owners Assoc., the Chinese Benevolent Society, the Women’s Leadership Initiative (United Way), the International Women’s Forum, and the Consular Corps of Jamaica.
Over 60 years later, from a small used-record shop in Kingston, Jamaica, to a New York City based, multinational company, VP Records stands as a symbol for reggae music, for the culture and message of its abiding roots and continued legacy. As a Grammy winning label co-founder, retailer, merchandiser, and with accolades too numerous to mention, Miss Pat has left her indelible mark, and has tremendously impacted the lives of many around the world.
Patty King of Toronto is the success story of the Chong family from Jamaica. The parents, father David Chong Foo Yin and mother Wong Kim Moy, gave the start from 1945 in Kingston Jamaica with Sunbeam Bakery. The story in Canada involves Beryl Yap and her five brothers Egbert, Stan, Eddie, George and Geoffrey. Significant contributions were also made by many other members of the family. This is a story of a family business.