Honey-roasted peanuts, anyone?
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19-year-old Andrew Lamaison
19-year-old Andrew Lamaison

Young breadwinner helping to make ends meet at home

BEING one of the two breadwinners in his home with his single-parent mom and five siblings, 19-year-old Andrew Lamaison has recently started up a small business that he named ADDL De Dan’s Honey Roasted Peanuts and Raisins – a business that he’s working diligently on every day and has plans to expand.

It all started with Andrew’s trip to Stabroek Market, where he found the peanuts that were ideal for his business. Sorting through the bags of nuts, he’d ensure that he selected the ones that were whitish in colour, definitely not green, because he’d seen from experience how those came out too soft.

Andrew preparing the nuts

Even though he’s learned many things on the job, it was the Youtube videos that he and his big brother, Jermaine, watched that made him realise that it was definitely something he could do, and, incidentally, he had always been on the lookout for work that he could do on his own, as opposed to working with people, especially the bossy ones that he didn’t like.

He tried various jobs, including delivering beverages for a company and construction but always wanted to do something on his own. His big brother, although never having done honey roasted nuts specifically, knew how to run a business, so Andrew was able to tap into his experience.

“I started doing delivery of beverages, and I tried another work. I did construction, and it was hard. I kept going and saving until I got an idea because I don’t like working with people, especially those who like to boss you around,” he shared in an interview with Pepperpot Magazine.

Always on the lookout for a business idea, Andrew recently started up his small business

While working, Andrew would always be careful about spending his hard-earned dollars and chose to save as much as he could. He, therefore, had the money he needed when it was time to start up the peanut business.

Now, every day, from about 10:00hrs to 17:00hrs, he’d station himself at the Independence Street, La Grange, West Bank Demerara entrance and would not leave until he accomplishes his target for the day – 40 bags of honey roasted nuts.

“We aim to get out 40 bags a day, and we don’t come in until we sell off all the nuts. I love the business because it’s very easy to do; you get to interact with people every day, and you’re your own boss.”

Boiling the nuts in some sugar and honey

Meanwhile, continuing to explain the process of getting his nuts ready, Andrew related what he’d do next after picking out the perfect set from the market. “I start by washing it and putting it in some sugar and water to boil. Then I add honey, a pinch of salt and wait for it to boil. It takes about 15 minutes to be crystalised.”

Continuing, he said he’d next take out the nuts and leave them to cool so that the ingredients he mixed them in could become attached to them. And lastly, he said he’d throw in the raisins.
Andrew also makes his own paper bags for the nuts. “I buy the band paper from Ghandi’s Store, and me and my big brother would make the bags in different sizes.”

For some reason, Friday is the brightest sale day for Andrew, while Sunday is the most flexible. On Sunday, he leaves work as soon as he sells out the number of bags that he had planned.

Andrew is hoping to expand his business by supplying supermarkets and other places

Although he does delivery at times, Andrew is hoping to someday be able to expand his business by supplying to supermarkets and the like. A top priority for him at the moment is to become mobile, to have a form of transportation that can help with the delivery. His ultimate goal is to make enough to be able to live comfortably, and he firmly believes that he will get there in time.

Andrew also makes music in his spare time, such as when he finishes work early on Sundays. He can still remember his school days when he would ‘clash’ with students of other schools to see who would put on the better performance, usually during lunch breaks, and on some rare occasions, during school hours when there was no class.

And one day during his stint in fourth form, he recalled how GTT visited Uitvlugt Secondary, where he was a student, and took along local entertainers to tell their stories to the youths. He had an opportunity on this occasion to show off his talent, and then later, he was introduced by a relative to the owners of a music studio where he recorded his first Christmas song, to be followed by several others.

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