As part of the HDC’s thrust to give a lift to Maloney Mall, several businesses showcased themselves on Monday amid a fashion show and steel-pan music.
The HDC’s commercial properties manager Maurisa Findlay said it was all part of a move to position the mall as a secure area for families to relax and support local businesses. A series of events will be held at HDC malls nationwide to attract the local communities for shopping and leisure.
Findlay introduced Newsday to several store-owners.
Eunice Skeete of Colleen’s Delicatessen (named after her daughter) said her business had been set up in 2005 when the mall had first opened. “I’m from Tobago. My speciality is curried crab and dumpling, but I can cook anything - Chinese, Italian and Creole. I cook like home, with the natural Tobago flavour anytime you come here. I cook with passion and love. The taste is just right.”
She was full of praise for the HDC’s efforts to uplift the mall. “It was down but now Miss Findlay is boosting it up. We see a great improvement in the place.
“It’s a great encouragement to go forward. The environment has become better. They put in new landscaping and have started to do renovation, so all we need now is to get the air-conditioning going.” Baked chicken fried fish, braised lentils, veggies and pumpkin rice were on yesterday’s menu board.
Across the hall Bernadine Joseph ran Annie’s Café, Annie being a nickname given to her by the Aboud family where she’d formerly worked.
“I”m into pastries - cake, banana bread, pizza slices. I make it from scratch, and sell.
“I do patchoi pizza, saltfish pizza and veggie pizza. I also do wedding cakes, plus a little Arabic food. I learnt from the best, Mrs George of Ellerslie Park.”
Joseph was also glad at improvements in the mall.”Since the mall was going down, I had prayed for something good to happen for us. God is great. My prayers worked, and a lot of things are going on now.
“God sent two beautiful angels, Miss Findlay, and Miss Young who runs the mall. They are looking for betterment for us in this mall.” Joseph was pleased with the upgraded mall security.
Selective Hair’s Michelle Baptiste said she had opened her stall last January in the middle of a recession, but that things were going well. “This cabinet here was filled with virgin hair, and it all sold out for graduation,” she said proudly. Saying such hair can sell for $1,600, she said, “Hair is big business in Trinidad and Tobago.” Baptiste said most TT women (especially Africans) go for Brazilian hair which she said has a lot of volume and body, compared to the Peruvian and Indian hair which is more straight and silky and which is more often used by women with naturally straight hair but which is thinning.
Blended hair can be bought at more affordable prices than the virgin hair, she said.
Also present were Roxanne Layne and Edicta Carty-Belle of the Family Planning Association (FPA) who used models to demonstrate and advise on the correct technique for using a male and female condom to residents.
Layne said, “We’re not just about the pill and condom. We offer sexual and reproductive health services, for men, women and young people. This includes cervical cancer screening, manual breast examination, prostate cancer screening and gender-based violence screening and counselling.” The FPA also offers testing for HIV and STI’s such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, plus counselling. The prostate test is subsidised at $200.
Also displaying their services were Sulton Industries TT (SITT) who do general contracting, maintenance and landscaping, plus Jessica Baker-Gill of Diamond Brite which does cleaning including power washing of house exteriors.