New BICO factory tour with sampling when reopened
BICO Limited Factory location.
Whenever the BICO Factory rebuild is completed there will be a room allowing visitors to watch the ice cream-making process and even sample flavours.
This sweet promise was made by the BICO Executive Chairman Edwin Thirwell while manufacturing concessions and legal actions to attain owed insurance monies remain frozen.
He assured such a room is in the plans for the new factory.
Photo caption: (right) BICO Executive Chairman Edwin Thirwell speaks about the ice cream tour initiative and its potential.
Speaking to Loop News after a press conference at BICO's headquarters recently, with a smile, he said:
"I believe all will enjoy seeing because there're not many places where the factory's been designed in such a way.
"So I think that, I haven't told anyone yet, but it's all built in. We have a glass front and it ends up in a hospitality room where you can sample the products."
Thirwell said in his mind he believes it will attract a wide cross-section of persons - "Church groups, visitor groups, social groups, tourists, anyone." He noted that this would definitely be a first for Barbados and another addition to the tourism product.
Asked about a timeline, anxious to have the reconstruction completed, the Chair said, "I don't even know when it's scheduled to start," but he is hopeful that work will recommence soon since they have had three false starts previously. It was to get underway last June, October and this January, but blockages still exist as it relates to the manufacturing concessions.
Confessing in their annual report to shareholders for the financial year ended September 30, 2018, Thirwell said, it was "a somewhat turbulent trading year," but he alluded to the fact that many consumers tongue-in-cheekily say they want BICO icecream made in Barbados, "it's their preference". And he stressed, "Despite the odds, we'll try to accommodate that but we can only do that when..."
Since the fire, BICO icecream was manufactured in Canada, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and the Dominican Republic. BICO has shifted business, adapted and adjusted to make it work. The fire occurred in 2009 and BICO was paid nearly $16 million from its insurers but it is still awaiting the $2.7 million in uninsured losses from the party deemed responsible for the fire.