We had the good fortune of connecting with Dee Berry and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dee, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It started 10 years ago, I went back home to Portland, Jamaica to visit my father after not being home for 5 years. While being home, I visited my father’s farm and he began telling me more about what coffee farmers were struggling when it came to being paid fairly for their crop. At 16, I knew that I could do more to help my father and the farmers I knew growing up by starting a business that would get their product to more people who love Blue Mountain Coffee without ever traveling to get it! However, at 16 that was an ambitious goals and no one truly saw the vision, at least not yet. Fast forward to 2021 and after years of dreaming and creating a business plan, the dream of Berry Bleu was finally becoming a reality. I chose to register my business as a Jamaican company to help keep my business true to its origins. This became a family owned and run business, with my mother, father and brother helping me bring my vision to fruition.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Berry Bleu officially launched in the public in March 2022 however, the journey to getting to this point was much longer. When I decided to start this business, I knew absolutely nothing about business or where to start. So I did what I do best, wrote out my ideas and goals then I went to who I knew could help, my mom. We wrote out a business plan, then reached out to someone who could help me register my business in Jamaica while not being physically there. This would turn into a long process which didn’t culminate until I finally went to Jamaica in the middle of my semester this March to finalise the paperwork.

Overcoming the challenges of starting a new business while in medical school in a completely different country was not easy in any way. However, I’ve pushed through each roadblock mainly due to the encouragement of those around me and my determination to build a brand that myself and family can be proud of. Berry Bleu may only bring Blue Mountain Coffee to your door now, but the goal is to be a known coffee brand. Our brand is built on being women led, Caribbean owned and showing other young women that you can have more than one passion and chase after it. Berry Bleu will not be another coffee distributor but will one day have coffee shops all over the world, bringing Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee to everyone who desires it.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Portland, Jamaica

The best parish in Jamaica and this is not up for debate. Your first stop would be our coffee farm, the land I was raised on, the land that brings forth the deelicious coffee Berry Bleu brings to you. Afterwards, we’d head to Blue Lagoon, and boat over to Monkey Island (Pellew Island) to enjoy a refreshing swim and beautiful view. Our last stop would be Boston, Portland to enjoy the best Jerk that the parish has to offer in my humble opinion. Of course our island is beautiful and there are many spots that you visit but these are my top 3 favorite places to visit.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Being a full time medical student, my success comes from the support of so many people. My friends and family who have stood by me through it all. The mentorship of my mother (@createfinancialsolutions) who coaches business owners and future business owners to starting and maintaining successful companies. My father and all the farmers who work in the Blue Mountain region in Portland Jamaica. In addition to them, the one person behind the curtains who has worked to ensure all of the orders are packaged and shipped in a timely fashion, my cousin Kerry Ann because without her Berry Bleu would not run as smoothly as it does. There are so many people I am grateful for that it would take me an entire article just to thank everyone, but the unwavering support is one of the main reasons I keep going and push for Berry Bleu to be successful.

A special shoutout to the photographer Holly Charles Photos (@hollycharlesphotos) who took all the lovely pictures featured here.

Website: berrybleucoffee.com

Instagram: berrybleucoffee

Facebook: Berry Bleu Coffee

Other: personal IG: thefuturedrdee

Image Credits
Holly Charles Photos (IG: hollycharlesphotos)

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