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Samuda expanding Kaluga brand with full service solution

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Adrian Samuda, CEO, Kaluga Group of Companies Adrian Samuda, CEO, Kaluga Group of Companies Old Harbour News Photo

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Kaluga Group Adrian Samuda says the company will be aggressively pursuing corporate clients and individuals as it aim to establish itself as the number one choice for food and beverage solutions on the island.

The Old Harbour company started out two years ago with the very popular Kaluga Kafe but has since created Kaluga Gourmet Access, a catering firm providing food and beverage services for corporate and social events and also weddings.

Demand for full service solutions in the food and beverage business has been overwhelming Samuda told Old Harbour News during a recent interview.

“How it started initially is that people use to come to us and ask us like ‘so if I have a wedding you could do that?’ and we use to turn them down telling them we are just in the whole restaurant thing. So it then dawn on me and I said ‘why not?’ if people are requesting it so much it means there’s a demand,” he recounted.

Since then the demand continues to grow he says, particularly amongst corporate clients based as far as Kingston and Mandeville.

By venturing into this area of the sector new possibilities have popped up for the business, hence the need to create a “one stop shop”.

“The aim is to step out from just providing catering to a full service which includes event planning. Because what we have realized to be competitive in the catering market we must be satisfying your total needs,” he said. “So if you call me for food, I should be able to provide the décor for you too. You should not have to be shopping around for lighting, tables and chairs. So to make the purchasing easier on you, we do all of that now. If we are doing your wedding, you don’t need to call a wedding planner. We have that in-house already. Right now we’re doing events where we are also doing graphic designs for them.”

“So the Kaluga vision is to be the number one choice for food and beverage solution in Jamaica. For us to achieve that we can’t focus on restaurant alone. For us to be a leading caterer we have to be providing a full service experience for our clients or else we’re not going to be competitive,” he added.

To achieve this ambitious goal, he said expansion work has already started at the rear of the West Street, Old Harbour property. When complete the new facility will include cold and dry storage areas and will cater exclusively to the new demands of the business.

“We’re creating a different kitchen for Kaluga Gourmet Access,” he explains. “It will operate like a different company to itself.”

He said the company will be offering a take-out lunch service to corporate employees, who have been clamoring for such a service in the Old Harbour space. And given their established reputation for quality service and taste that should not be a problem.

Samuda said: “I am after the lunch market in Old Harbour. There’s a shortcoming regarding lunch. There’s a big complain out there where people are saying they’re not getting quality food for lunch. So we’re looking to strike deals with all the offices in Old Harbour. It’s not going be like people can come here and buy food, everything will be pre-ordered. So we are looking to satisfy the lunch market in Old Harbour, May Pen and Spanish Town to a great extent.”

With the strong marketing background he holds, Samuda says the company will be hitting the ground running, calling the decision a “major investment” with approximately $10 million to be invested within the next eight months.

“The aim is not to sit a wait for business to come to me. We’re building out a very strong marketing and sales force where we will be aggressively going after clients. We have a lot of brand equity now so we can make another major move,” he said.

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