By Horace Mills, BVI News Online Staff
At the back of a scooter, John Harvey had a plastic crate packed with natural juices – all made by him.
“I wasn’t getting any job in the British Virgin Islands; it was kinda hard,” he told BVI News Online as he recounted the genesis of his natural juice business.
He became heavily involved in the commercial undertaking just over a year ago.
“I found that I was getting a child. Right then and there, I made up my mind to do something, and I said I don’t want my child to come into this world and suffer, because I done grow up without a father,” added Harvey, who was months old when he lost his father, Willis Herbert Maduro Pickering.
“I didn’t even carry my father’s name. That is to show how things drastically happened.”
“Growing up without a father, I was rude as a young boy. But we are not perfect as humans. We all make mistakes. I paid for my mistakes. Now, I am trying to become somebody for the future,” Harvey said.
He recalled that, while he was thinking about his then unborn son, his mother Eugina Harvey encouraged him to try his hands at selling natural juices. She had seen it work wonders back in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“My mother told me to take the drinks and go in front of One Mart and see what I can do.”
“So, I get dressed professionally and went there, and let the people know the drinks I have on sale. I got one and two sale; people were just trying the juices,” Harvey further recalled.
He, at the time, had no clue that a past-time would have become a passion, and a passion would have become a business venture.
“When I started out, it was all about the money. But now, I just like to make juices – natural drinks. I just can’t stop, till right now my business is booming.”
“I build my clientele. I started to change up a lot of remedies till I actually perfected my drinks. I am doing all kinda drinks right now,” added the young man, who noted that he also supplies natural juices to a few business establishments on Tortola.
His dream is to eventually label his juices, and to supply them to supermarkets throughout the territory.
“Right now, all we need is a name for the business and a label, and we will be jamming,” added Harvey who, like a true salesman, started to explain the vitamins and minerals he transfers daily from fruits to bottles, then to customers.
“If you can’t get to eat the fruit, I guarantee you, you will drink it once you deal with me,” added Harvey.
‘I don’t need a job; this is my job’
According to the young father, the response throughout the community has been tremendous.
But some people, he said, still prod him to find a job.
“Ever since people see me start to push myself, a lot of people start to come to me and applaud me.”
“Some ask me why I don’t get a job. I tell them I don’t need a job; this is my job. I feel comfortable doing it, and making a honest living, and I am satisfy with that,” Harvey told BVI News Online.
Harvey further explained that, from the look of things, even his little son appreciates what he does for a living.
“When I am in the kitchen making my drinks, he is up watching me blend the drinks, like he want to know what I am doing. I talk to him and let him know – and he is only 10 months old.”
“He may be a juice man. If things don’t end up the way it should be, he would still have a trade to rely on – and not just a trade that he learns from school, but a trade that he learns from home,” Harvey further said.
He advised that young people should not be afraid to go against the grain to make a honest living.
“For all the people who don’t really have a job, or who want to start a business, do something that you really love and try to brace yourself for life,” said Harvey, who hopes to also become more structurally involved in inspiring people – including scooter riders who are often chastised for reckless driving.
‘The law is set for a reason’
Harvey, in the meantime, noted that his scooter is the lifeblood of his business.
“My scooter is a truck, it helps me a lot. I use it to deliver drinks, pick up ice, pick up groceries. I designed it in a way that it just meant for everything. It’s an all-purpose vehicle,” the youngster said.
But he too is cognizant of the stereotyping of scooter riders on Tortola.
“We really have a lot of scooters on the island, and we need to be advised that we are not alone on the road. There are trucks, all kinda things, and pedestrians.”
“So, we have to make sure we have our helmets on – anything could happen; and not just a helmet but a full-face helmet. In relation to speeding, I don’t know why we as young people want to speed on this little island… Where are we racing to go? It is not going to take you five to 10 minutes to really reach where you are going within the speed limit of the law.”
“As young people, we need to abide by the law. The law is set for a reason. I bet in most of these accidents, if people were driving at the speed limits of the law, you wouldn’t have such serious damages,” Harvey said in a passionate appeal mainly to fellow scooter riders.
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