Q&A with Regina King, Owner & Chief Creator, King’s Specialty
Can you share with BBTT some milestones of your entrepreneurial journey and how did you decide to create specialty liqueurs?
- To be able to use our product offerings to showcase our country’s diversity, vibrancy and ingenuity whilst paying homage to years of home tradition and creating great memories for our customers.
- Establishing the “Help a Child to Strive” initiative (established this year) – geared towards assisting young children through the provision of school supplies and mentorship. With financial contributions from KS’ customers and KS directly, TTD6000 worth of stationery items was obtained for 12 children in need (ages 5-13) from Point Fortin. This was done in collaboration with the Point Fortin Police Youth Club, lead by Mr. Clifton Thompson – Police Constable, Community Relations Unit.
- Being able to support in the growth and empowerment of young ladies. King’s Specialty was an official Sponsor of the 2019 Bodacious Girls Gala, an initiative of Akosua Edwards of Enabling Enterprise and the Cleopatra Borel Foundation; being a volunteer to the NiNa programme – in July of this year, KS’ Owner – Regina King spoke with young ladies from the St. Jude’s Home for Girls on the theme “Preparation for the world of work”.
- Increasing the use of environmentally friendly materials – all serving items (cups, napkins, straws) are either biodegradable and/or compostable; use of recycled/recyclable materials – business cards, wooden table displays and glass bottles.
- Receiving not one, but two (2) awards at the 2019 New York International Spirits Competition – Chocohlate Cream Liqueur: Silver, Qaanela Cream Liqueur: Bronze; being the only T&T brand to medal at this year’s competition. These Liqueurs were launched in July 2018 and were less than a year old when the awards were won.
- Over the business’ existence from 2010 to present, KS has produced 4 Ponche de Creme flavours (now discontinued), 6 Fruit Liqueurs – Sorrel, Mango, Banana, Five Finger, Guava, Mint (currently on hold), 4 Juices with no additives, preservatives or artificial flavours – Orange, Grapefruit, Sorrel, Mauby and 4 locally-crafted, eggless Cream Liqueurs – Cheeri, Chocohlate, Licquir Brew and Qaanela.
Many are unfamiliar with the components and quality of a good liqueur. Can you outline these key quality compliments for us?
A good Liqueur should have a viscosity that allows for enjoyment be it on the rocks, as a base or addition to a cocktail or even blended with a hot beverage. Liqueurs are also used in cooking and baking due to the high flavour profile. If it is a Fruit or Herb Liqueur, one should be able to enjoy it chilled, clearly identify the main flavour/s and not be overpowered by the base spirit (rum, vodka etc.). There should be a balance between fruit/herb, flavours/spices (if added), rum and sweetener.
What do you consider to be the most important facets to starting up your business?
- Understand the barriers to entry – are there a lot of regulations? Is start up cost very high/low? Is the market/industry saturated? Is there a niche market that is currently under-served?
- Understanding your target market/s and the best way to serve your consumers.
- Being consistent (quality, professionalism, customer service etc.) in your product/service offering.
- Being resilient, dedicated, passionate.
- If you are starting off alone, be educated about the various aspects of business – sales & marketing, accounting & finance, production, customer service etc.; if you have a team – delegate, delegate, delegate.
You recently participated in Carifesta 2019 what were some of the highlights in your experience?
- Being able to meet and interact with local, regional and international visitors, performers and businesses from all walks of life.
- Being able to represent for Trinidad and Tobago through our products.
- Being a part of and selling out at one of the largest Caribbean celebrations of food, art, music, fashion, culture and commerce.
Your Award and recognition for excellence can inspire other SMEs what advice would you share to inspire entrepreneurs?
- Do not limit your aspirations.
- Always strive for the best that your product/service can offer.
- Don’t be daunted by the size of your business. Small businesses can achieve significant success.
- Your time will come. Don’t be intimidated by or feel “lesser than” because you have not achieved what other businesses have. Instead, examine the principles they would’ve have applied, adjust it to your business model and be empowered to move forward.
What are your ‘flagship labels’ and Where is King’s Specialty most readily available?
All of our Cream Liqueurs are sold under the King’s Specialty brand and can be purchased at the following locations:
- The Terre Benie Shoppe – located at The Hotel Normandie – St. Anns
- Uncorked Wines and Spirits Ltd. -Tragarete Road
- Upper Crust Patisserie – St. James
- Vintage Imports – Woodbrook
- The Happy Gourmet, Valpark Shopping Plaza – Valsayn
- D’ Trini Shop – Trincity Mall
- East Yard – 27 Prince Street Arima
- Tradewinds Hotel – St. Joseph Village, San Fernando
- JTA Supermarkets
- Tru Valu Supermarket
Further details can be found on King’s Specialty’s social media pages.
Delivery service is available across the country.
Can you share with BBTT any plans for the future… expansion? New range?
We are always working on new ways we can create great memories for our customers. Whilst we continue to tinker with new product options we are also working on making our products available in regional and international markets.
Do you have a Christmas line planned?
We will have customised gift options for the Christmas/end-of-year season and also fun recipes to help spread the yuletide joy!