Interview with Jermaine and Keisha Bailey, Owners, Toss and Roll

Toss and Roll is one of Kingston’s newest food spots. The days-old eatery is owned and operated by Keisha Bailey and hubby Jermaine Bailey at 2 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 5. (Read my post on Lunch at Toss and Roll). Patrons can come in between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to enjoy the freshest wraps, sandwiches, and salads, all hand-cut and assembled on spot. Delivery options are also available: call 876-879-3310.

Toss and Roll comes at the perfect time when Jamaica has joined the health and fitness movement and has embraced the eat clean, eat local concept. Let’s get to know a little more about Keisha & Jermaine’s vision to provide Kingstonians with a better, healthier alternative to lunch.

Name: Jermaine Bailey, Keisha Bailey
Age: 30, 28
Occupation: MBA student at UWI, Risk Manager at JMMB

1. Where did you get the idea to open up Toss & Roll?

  • The concept for Toss & Roll started with my sister in law Shanna-Lee Bennett who wanted to provide healthier breakfast options to a few corporate companies in new Kingston and Liguanea. My wife Keisha and I would assist her with sales and also give advice on strategy for her business. Shanna-Lee recently migrated but she’s still a part of our operations giving advice on menu planning and new items we plan to add in the future.
  • Also we wanted to provide meal options that were healthy but not necessarily vegetarian. We wanted to get away from the traditional beans and ‘ital stew’ and just provide low calorie, low fat and high protein meals to our customers. We are very big on freshness and so we prepare our ingredients daily to ensure our customers get the freshest healthiest meal possible.

2. Was the process from concept to realisation a difficult one? 

  • Getting Toss & Roll off the ground was a very tedious process. Finding the right location was a key part of our strategy and this took quite some time. Eventually we found the Small Business Association of Jamaica and with their mandate to help provide facilities for start-ups and small businesses to succeed we felt that this location would be the perfect fit for us.
  • Staffing was another important part of getting the business running so we spent months scouting around for the right customer focused persons who would delight our customers on each visit.
  • Getting the right supply of fresh vegetables and protein was also important. So from early on we sought to find key suppliers who would give us the wholesome ingredients we want to serve our customers. Our vegetables are fresh from the farm without any preservatives and hand cut daily right in our store. Our meats are also freshly done and we stay far away from using preservative and MSG etc.

3. What is your relationship with food like?

  • We are food lovers….we are very meticulous about what is served to us and so we ensure that only the freshest, most wholesome ingredients are used for items on our menu
  • My sister-in-law Shanna-Lee is even more particular about the standard of the meals we serve and so we have a dedicated team working to ensure our customers are always satisfied

4. What are your views on veganism?

  • Veganism is a healthy lifestyle also and we enjoy vegan food. We however want to position ourselves as a salad bar serving meals that are fresh and healthy…not necessarily vegetarian or vegan. Our ingredients used in our meals are packed with a wide range of vitamins and have a wide range of health benefits.

5. Where do you see Toss and Roll in the next 2 years?

  • Our plan is to encourage healthier eating habits among our customers and the wider Jamaica. In order to achieve this initiative we want to have more store locations opened some time in the medium term.
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Jermaine & Keisha Bailey, Owners, Toss & Roll

Check out Toss and Roll on Facebook and Instagram.

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Okra Roti Wrap w/ HoneyKist® Pimento Gourmet Honey

Many persons are opposed to consuming okras because of their slimy texture. But this dish is sure to please even the most squeamish.  Don’t believe me? Give it a try and see for yourself.

Okra Roti Wrap

Warning: This dish is on the spicy side owing to the addition of ½ scotch bonnet pepper. However, the sweetness from the honey balances out the heat and helps to round out the rest of the flavours. If you’re still scared, you can go ahead and reduce the pepper to your taste. 

cut tomatoes okra_raw cooked okra

Do not wash the okra before cutting. Instead, wipe with a damp cloth. Washing will increase the chances of the okra being too slimy when cooked. If it needs to be washed for whatever reasons, use paper towel to dry properly before cutting. To reduce sliminess even more, leave cut okras uncovered in fridge overnight.

Happy cooking,

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Cooking Guide For Veggie-Lovers (Infographic, Adapted)

Veggies [should always be] welcomed in one’s diet. But knowing the proper way to cook them may cause trepidation towards these innocent ingredients. Luckily enough, the kind-hearts at Domestic Superhero have come up with a quick cheat sheet that will eliminate the guesswork and allow you more time to enjoy some of the most popular vegetables.

 

VeggieCookingInfographic

 

Most veggies are best enjoyed when roasted, as roasting naturally enhances their flavour and has the added benefit of avoiding nutrient loss that may occur during boiling. It’s always good to coat with a little (olive) oil so as to reduce water loss during roasting and maintain moist, evenly cooked veggies. This is especially important for potatoes and sweet potatoes. Steaming is also a great option and much preferred to boiling , so grab an in expensive steaming basket when next you visit the store.

There are many recipes out there but some of the simplest include tossing your vegetables in olive oil, S&P, lime/lemon juice, and topping with your favourite herbs. A good home-made vinaigrette is always a good choice. Have fun with it.

One love,

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Lunch at Toss and Roll

I love to cook, and as such I try to commit some time during my busy weekends to let my creative juices flow in the kitchen. This means that I would usually have my weekend creations for lunch a day or two during the week. But Fridays are dedicated to exploring the city’s foodie hotspots. I am always on the lookout for new venues, and they are always popping up. Truth is there aren’t enough Fridays to keep up with the growth in numbers of lunch spots in Kingston, and you’d be amazed at how many have opened up in the last few months or so.

Anywho, I’ve (recently) embraced the #eatclean movement and as such have paid much (overdue) attention to eateries that offer a lighter, healthier menu rather than barging into the nearest fast food chain. So it wasn’t any surprise when I got excited and called up a few friends after hearing from a co-worker than there’s a new gourmet salad and wrap eatery in town called Toss and Roll. I didn’t have to second guess; I knew exactly where my good friend and lunch partner in crime Jo-Anne and I would be having lunch on Friday.

A super excited Stephen got hold of the owner’s contact details and called her up, expressing my content with the layout of the poster. Have a look:

toss&roll opening special

I made a promise to co-owner Keisha Bailey that I will be visiting her spot with a group of friends and she was rather accommodating; she even offered to set up extra chairs just in case.

(L to R) Latoya, Tassia & Jo-Anne

(L to R) Latoya, Tassia & Jo-Anne

Me and Daenia

Me and Daenia

Upon arriving, it was rather refreshing to see that all ingredients were prepared fresh right in front of your eyes. All the veggies were hand-cut, and not in bulk, as they were frequently replenished even within the duration that I was in line. I admit, I had to wait for a little longer than expected, but that’s ok if my wait is due to the time it takes to grill my chicken and assemble my salad and wrap in front of my eyes.

toss&roll salad bar

And the portion size was pretty decent, too. I got a mini chicken wrap (6”) and chicken salad for J$750 and a complimentary Watermelon Wonder green tea cooler…the perfect accompaniment to wash down a healthy lunch without gulping down those unwanted, empty calories.

toss&roll watermelon wonder

Watermelon Wonder Green Tea Cooler

Other choices included Mango Madness and Oh Yes It’s Orange.

toss&roll green tea coolers

My wrap and salad were pretty yummy: chicken breast grilled to perfection atop crunchy garden veggies, cheese and honey mustard dressing.

toss&roll grilled chicken salad toss&roll mini wrap toss&roll mini wrap2

The sudden downpour of rain wasn’t going to spoil our fun.

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Or theirs…

toss&roll outdoor seating

Overall it was a good experience and I would recommend it to anyone seeking a healthier alternative to lunch. Toss and Roll is owned by spouses Keisha and Jermaine Bailey, currently operating from the Small Business Association of Jamaica complex, at 2 Trafalgar Rd (the first left after turning onto Lady Musgrave Rd. from Trafalgar Rd.) but as you’d imagine they may soon need to relocate to accommodate a larger following. Toss and Roll is opened daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and delivery is available. They can be contact at 876-879-3310, via email at tossandroll@gmail.com and on Facebook.

Eat right, live better.

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Mothers’ Day Treats @ World-Class Devon House Bakery

devon house

A great dessert is a good way to indulge on any special occasion. During the month of May, Devon House Bakery (located on the grounds of the world-famous Devon House, Hope Road, Kingston) will be treating moms to a free Dame Amor Black Forest Cheesecake with the purchase of any three or more pastry items.

Camera 360

I got first taste of these delicious delights when marketing manager and friend Kerin Scott called me up to be part of a photo shoot to launch the bakery’s social media campaign. I was one of a handful of foodies that were just TOO excited to indulge in the sinfulness of the many yummy delights that are available at this nifty bakery.

As part of the photographing process we had to taste everything. Ok, so we didn’t HAVE to, but you get the point. #fattie

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some of my favourites included the classic strawberry cheesecake, chocolate fudge cake, and red velvet cheesecake.

oreo cheesecake

oreo cheesecake

chocolate fudge cake

chocolate fudge cake

red velvet cheesecake

red velvet cheesecake

Dame Amor blackforrest cheesecake

Dame Amor blackforrest cheesecake

Oh, and since we’re already there, might as well throw in one of their amazing, freshly made patties, my favourite being the shrimp patty. Listen, if you get nothing else, make sure you get the shrimp patty! And yea, there are actual, discernible shrimp inside. Enough said.

devon house signature patties

Devon House signature patties

The bakery is open from 10:00a.m. to 10:00p.m. every day of the week, and the al-fresco ambience is the perfect setting for a dessert date.

Check them out on Facebook and be sure to take advantage of this offer and treat mom (or yourself) to some of the best pastries in town.

Photo credits: Skkan Media, STUSH and SLEEK Magazine.

HoneyKist® Gourmet Flavoured Honey – 100% Jamaican

I am a happy camper! My very own package of assorted flavoured gourmet honey is here from HoneyKist Jamaica. If you haven’t at least heard of them then you totally live under a rock because these are a big hit and should be part of any foodie’s pantry.

100% jcan honey
100% Jamaican, 100% pure

The line of gourmet honey (HoneyFusions) is sourced and manufactured entirely right here in Jamaica by HoneyKist Apiaries (HKA) Limited, a family-owned, family-oriented business that truly embraces the eat local concept. The company prides themselves in harvesting 100% Jamaican honey at its peak of maturity and incorporating the purest of ingredients, nothing artificial added.

And they weren’t joking when they said “pleasing to the eyes, nose and palette.” The packaging is remarkably nifty and chic.

You can choose any of their five flavours: pimento, blue mountain coffee, lime , habanero pepper and ginger, or go hard and indulge in all five.

Camera 360The possibilities are endless with each distinct flavour, made with real ingredients. In fact, each bottle of naturally flavoured honey boasts the benefits of the actual ingredient it represents. So yea, you can actually take the hassle out of sourcing limes and mixing up that concoction for the common cold and try HoneyKist’s Lime Fusion instead. Wowza!

After much deliberation to open the jars because I didn’t want to mess with how attractive the packaging was, I was a little surprised how true-to-life each flavour was. My personal fave is the habanero pepper and blue mountain coffee. No surprise here since I’m a sucker for pepper and coffee.

honeykist honeyHoneyFusions are available in different sized individual packages for your convenience. Check them out on the web at www.honeykistja.com/ and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ll be aspiring to develop an array of recipes with each flavour so stay tuned! In the meanwhile, go grab yourself a jar and let’s share in the #foodiebliss.

One love,
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