WHEN Angus Louis lost his job, he never imagined that it would be a blessing. Louis opened a small business after his former employer dismissed him and now, he’s happier than ever. I met the young entrepreneur on Coral Street on Thursday and he certainly brightened my day.
He had me grinning from cheek-to-cheek half of the time and whenever his customers stopped by, he made them smile.
“I love to interact with persons. I love new adventures, taking on new challenges and trying to create my own pathway through life,” the fruit vendor said.
“I used to work at a hotel and about two years ago the hotel plunged into financial constraints I think and I was told they had to let some staff go; I was part of that group. When I lost my job, it was depressing at first, but then I bounced off the ball and got on my feet. I didn’t want to be idle,” Louis explained.
He decided to start a fruit business and it didn’t take long for his plan to materialize.
“I made fruit bowls and I prepared the fruits at my house and then I’d go to town to sell them but persons were skeptical about buying the fruits since it was prepared at home and many of them didn’t know me. These persons don’t know how clean your house is, how you prepare the fruits, etc. Some persons said that I should prepare the fruits by the roadside so I said okay, let me try,” the 29-year-old said.
It turned out to be a brilliant idea. Today “Everyday Nutrition” is a success and he’s truly grateful.
“I started off with pineapples. I peeled the pineapples and sold them in small bowls for $5.00 and gradually persons told me I should get grapes, watermelons, etc., so I did that. I contacted some farmers and that was it. I’d get up as early as 4:00 a.m. so I could get in town by 6:00 a.m. My mom is a vendor and at that time she was selling by A.F. Valmont so I got a small tray and I sold next to her,” Louis said.
“I went to town with 15 bowls every day. I got some of the fruits from my mom —she gave me some of the fruits without charging me, so I was able to grow my finances and reinvest in buying fruits. In the beginning it was somewhat slow but then that changed. My mom had a lot of customers and they supported me. Many persons from my dad’s work place supported me as well. People also liked my personality and they liked the way I dressed and spoke so all of these things helped me get my business off the ground a lot quicker. In six months, I was able to supply maybe about 50-60 persons on a daily basis,” he added.
Louis believes a healthy lifestyle is important and according to him health is wealth.
“When you have health, you have everything, and when you don’t, there are constraints, you won’t be able to do many things. I would like my business to change people’s lives. Being healthy and also encouraging other individuals to be healthy is my number one goal because when you have a healthy nation, I think you can achieve a lot,” he explained.
“If you can have fruits every single day then I believe you’re on your way to being a better individual and if you can combine that with drinking lots of water and exercising then you’re good to go. I also want to be a paramedic. I meet persons who are hypertensive, diabetic, etc., and because I want to be a paramedic it’s just a boost for me to come here and interact with them. Hypertension is very deadly and diabetes is also deadly so I asked myself what can I do to help persons,” Louis added.
He continued: “Then there was a time when so many of our young men were dying from gunshot wounds and stab wounds. If it wasn’t that it was something else. I told myself I would probably like to be on the scene to help those persons and probably save their lives and if their lives are spared, maybe I can give them a pep talk and help them become better individuals.”
Louis has come a long way. His journey wasn’t easy, but thankfully his hard work paid off and according to him, “I learned from persons around me especially my mother and father.”
“I think I got the most jokes at school, I was called ‘vendor boy’ but I didn’t let that deter me. Persons who want to become entrepreneurs should maintain their goals. Don’t get distracted by people who will tell you things like ‘you have all this education and that’s what you’re doing?’ Don’t listen to people like that. Most persons who are now multimillionaires or millionaires are persons who started from scratch. I always listen to Rayneau Gajadhar’s story. He started off selling ice cream and today he has a multimillion-dollar construction company,” Louis said passionately.
“You may try something today and it might not work; don’t give up, go back to the drawing board and try something else. Always have different plans; if one doesn’t work another just might work for you,” he added.
The young entrepreneur has a bright future ahead of him. He also dreams of being a politician and it certainly looks like he’s on the right track.
Want a fruit bowl? You can find Louis on Coral Street (opposite Ideal Bakery) on weekdays.
“I have a variety of fruits: watermelons, pineapples, cantaloupes, honey dews, grapes, apples, pears, kiwis, mangoes, papaya, soursop, etc. Some of those are seasonal but you can get them whenever they’re available. I’m here as early as 6:00 a.m. and I leave at 4:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m.,” he said.