Kimberly White and Derand Hunte are the owners of Back 2 Roots, an agricultural business that provides quality seedlings, potted herbs, a range of local and exotic fruit trees and ornamental plants to backyard gardeners, farmers, restaurants, supermarkets, and hotels.
At their Buckley line nursery, a wide variety of vegetable seedlings such as; sweet peppers, tomato, lettuce, beets, beans, rosemary, thyme, and kale just to name a few are produced at very high quality. If you’re looking for local fruit trees you’re at the right spot, where varieties ranging from Sugar apple, Grafted mangoes and citrus to Breadfruit or if your interest is more exotic you’ll find varieties such as Mediterranean Figs, Canestel, Everbearing Strawberries, Gala apple and Grape vines.
Back 2 Roots is a grass root business starting from a very humble beginning and is a product of the pandemic. It was during the first lockdown in Antigua and Barbuda that the life partners began reshaping their outlook on life and what truly matters, with this rebirth the two decided to take to the soil and began to grow their own food which included producing seedlings, they eventually produce so much that they decided to share with their neighbors and sell to persons who were interested; from there their business kicked off.
White and Hunte explained that the name “Back 2 Roots’ ‘ came about as they were in their garden one day and decided that since they were sharing the seedlings with their neighbors and other persons were interested in purchasing, they would expand on it. They sat down and were thinking about doing it as a business as they had financial obligations to take care of and because they both worked in the hotel industry the sector was closed temporarily due to the pandemic, they definitely had time on their hands, they decided why not use the name Back 2 Roots. “The pandemic hit and threw a lot of people off their regular income and going back to roots means going back to the soil, to the source of it all,” explained Ms. White. “The lockdown really showed a lot of us what we take for granted and we just figured that this would tie into what was happening at the moment and everyone gravitated to it,” explained Mr. Hunte.
It has been quite a difficult process for them, and they encourage others to work hard from the beginning right through to the end, even if they may get easily discouraged at times, still push through as hardships only last a while. “You have to pursue, be consistent and committed, you have to realize that every day will not be a $500 or $1,000 day, there are days where you make $10 or even none, so you have to respect the hustle and the passion has to be there,” explained Mr. Hunte.
One of their major issues is materials as they do try to support the locals by buying their pots on island, however, they can go through up to 1,000 pots in a week but finding the right size on island is not always possible.
Most of the plants are from seeds, some they do source on island, but they cannot get a wide variety and the quality at times is not the best.
They do wish to expand; however, their space is now limited as the yard is now the business and it is one where they would need infrastructure and access.
Their products can also be found at the First Choice supermarket and they thank the management for giving them the opportunity to display their selection of culinary herbs and fruit trees, which has widened their customer base significantly, they would also like to thank Mrs Weste and family of Bailey’s Supermarket in Falmouth for allowing them to have their weekly pop up shop every Saturday, this they explain has also had a huge impact when they started initially.
They express great thanks to their customers who have been supporting them from Day 1 and they do advertise their business via Facebook and Instagram, which has helped them so much in terms of exposure.