Thanks to Chef Jamie Beeston and his wife Christina, there is a whole new flavour profile and a whole lot of “YUM” being added to the Quinte West area!
Barbacoa Boyz, their Caribbean catering business, specializes in Caribbean, Mexican and Canadian fusion food, featuring high quality, fresh ingredients. Jame is a highly skilled chef and has worked in the food industry for 25+ years, mostly in Toronto and the GTA. He and Christina first started Barbacoa Boyz Catering in 2018, working out of their basement catering kitchen in the Durham Region, saving costs and efficiencies throughout the pandemic.
As a black chef who grew up in Toronto, Chef Jamie has had his share of the effects of systemic racism since he was a child. He persevered because of his own tenacity and his family – wife and partner Christina, and their two boys, Leo and Gus.
In 2021, they moved to the city of Quinte West as a family, looking to take their business to new heights. After hearing about the Trenton DBIA “Win This Space” Contest in 2022, Jamie and Christina entered, and much to their surprise, won!
“Unfortunately, we could not find a suitable space to open a restaurant,” Christina shares.
However, they didn’t let this snag keep them from their dream.
“After going through the application and interview process with the DBIA committee, we had the confidence and support to apply for a small business loan through Trenval, which has allowed us to start our team of opening a food trailer in the country!” Christina says.
On top of their incredible new food trailer, they also maintain a health-inspected catering kitchen in their home basement.
On working with Trenval, Chrisina shares, “We found out about Trenval through speaking with Luc at the Small Business Centre when we won the DBIA contest. The team at Trenval was quick and easy to get in contact with, they were friendly, and asked great questions. All around, they were just really awesome to connect with!”
Adding the food trailer in Quinte West was made possible thanks to Trenval, and was a game-change for the husband & wife duo. Not only were they able to be more involved in the community, but they were able to increase their capacity for serving meals, have noticed an increase in sales and brand recognition, but have also finally been allotted the time to unplug and take a slower pace from an often demanding industry.
“At this point, we’ve only accessed the loan and a few meetings with the Trenval team, but the support has been incredible. We’re grateful for their support and excited to finally be back to selling amazing food,” Christina explains.
Currently, their staff team is small but they are projected to grow and hire soon to reach their future goals.
Chef Jamie has been incredibly pleased and grateful with the response from the local community.
“This business embodies what I want to pass on to my family and this community,” he explains. “We’ve been told time and time again that people are excited to have another great food option in town to enjoy. It’s really important to us that we pay attention to our website and engage with our supporters on social media to ensure they always know where they can find us, and to continue to foster these relationships. ”
Jamie and Christina feel that they represent the growing diversity in the area, and are excited to share their knowledge and love for local, healthy and delicious food through mentorships that keep talent in Quinte West. They also are heavily involved in the community and are looking to establish fundraisers to benefit those in need.
Looking into the future, Barbacoa Boyz is looking to partner with some great businesses to establish regular pop-up dates and hours, which is currently in the research and development phase. They are also hoping to one day establish a brick and mortar space.
“We are looking forward to eventually getting our kids involved in all aspects of the business, as much as they’re willing to do, when they’re of age,” Christina laughs.
To check out the fundraisers, pop-ups, cooking classes or just to order their incredible food, visit https://www.barbacoaboyz.com/! They also have an incredible blog called #CookEatShare, which you don’t want to miss out on.