JAM | Mar 29, 2023

R&S True Bliss Enterprise: business created after founders graduate from agro-processing and business management programme

Candice Stewart

Candice Stewart / Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes

‘Tun yuh han mek fashion’ is not just a cliché phrase Jamaicans use when creating something out of nothing. It represents innovation after identifying a need or desire to create with skills garnered. In the case of this story, it is a situation of being motivated to create a brand with products within the agro-processing sector.

Renesha Porter and Sackeem Leslie of R&S True Bliss Enterprise launched their multi-product business in January 2023. They did so after graduating from the two-year Associate of Applied Science in Agro-processing and Business Management at the Knox Community College (KCC) in June 2022.

“We specialise in a range of products such in the areas of skincare, hair-care, and food products. Our most recent product was launched on Tuesday (March 14) and it is our turmeric pineapple hot and spicy sauce. This product was created at the Rural Agricultural Developmental Authority (RADA) processing lab in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth,” they said in an interview with Our Today.

From left: Renesha Porter and Sackeem Leslie, co-founders of R&S True Bliss Enterprise. (Contributed photo)

Porter, 19 and Leslie, 27, showcased their new product at the close-out ceremony for the Advance Program, a regional workforce programme on Thursday (March 23) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St. Andrew.

Porter and Leslie said that they wanted to create a product that is as good for consumption as it is for general health. They made reference to the product’s main ingredient, turmeric which is known to be a natural anti-inflammatory compound, has high in antioxidants, may be beneficial in reducing the risk of cancers, among other benefits.

They established the business out of a need to use the skills learned during the associate’s programme, establish themselves as entrepreneurs, and also to grow professionally with the field of agro-processing. “We wanted to have a business as a fruit of the work we did in the programme. It would have shown ” said Porter and Leslie.

The turmeric-pineapple hot and spicy sauce created by R&S True Bliss Enterprise

“We wanted to create a product that was unique and so we did the turmeric pineapple hot and spicy sauce. Other products will be launched very soon. These include our goat milk soap which is in the research and planning stage. Additionally, we are in the process of creating other sauces such as our sorrel-ginger chili sauce,” Leslie said.

Other products the duo have created are: turmeric-infused candles and rosemary-aloe hair oils for hair growth which the duo said has been a hit with their customers who have used them.

The two have already made plans to continue their studies. They will embark on another two-year journey in September as they pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at KCC.

Sackeem Leslie and Renesha Porter, co-founder of R&S True Bliss Enterprise with their first customer, Mr. Thorpe.

“Environmental Studies is s a bit of agriculture and the sciences, including the environment and we want to take that next step in our education. After completing the agro-processing programme, this new one would be great for us especially because we are planning to go further into food processing. We want to explore further opportunities and expand on our Associate’s degree. We believe that a degree in Environmental Studies is the way to go,” they said.

Advance Program and the Associate of Applied Science in Agro-processing and Business Management

The Advance Program, sought to improve youth employability in new and emerging sectors for young people primarily from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Locally, Advance worked with the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) to strengthen degree programs in Agro-processing and Business Management, as well as Health and Wellness Tourism; the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) in Entertainment and Events Management as well as Digital Media; and the University of Technology (UTech) in Fashion Styling and Image Consulting as well as Design and Technology.

The programme, offered at Knox Community College through the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ), prepares graduates for careers in spa and health and wellness management. It is designed to provide hands-on, transferrable skills among students to support the rapidly growing local agro-processing sector.

The Associate of Applied Science in Agro-Processing and Business Management programme was among a few degree programmes strengthened with the intervention of the Advance Program.

Other CCCJ member institutions that have benefited include College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Portmore Community College (PCC), Excelsior Community College (ECC), Knockalva Polytechnic College, and Montego Bay Community College.

The Advance Program is a five-year regional technical education strengthening project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Family Health International (FHI360). It was executed in Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

Connect with R&S True Bliss on Instagram @trueblissbusinessproducts 

Read more stories related to the Advance Program at the link below:

Well trained youth farmers ‘more likely to realise high levels of production and productivity’

The Sim Collection: a line of products rebranded after inspiration from health and wellness tourism degree programme

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