Shontelle Pinch is an entrepreneurial bad ass that shows us that we can have it all. She has demonstrated how one can marry their passions to create a business that reflects her love for food and sustainability. She is the mastermind behind PINCH Hot Sauce and has joined forces with her boyfriend to create the ultimate luxury estate in Negril that includes everything from a helicopter pad to your own private grotto. I had the pleasure to interview Shontelle where she shared how it all began, her daily rituals as well as what inspired her creativity when building her businesses.
How and why did you start Pinch?
I am the Queen of layers and I love to create. I love to mix and discover different flavor profiles. I was not a fan of traditional packaging on current hot sauces in the market and wanted to create something that not only looked good but was versatile, catered to everyone’s needs and appealed to all different demographics. I believe I did this with my PINCH trio which includes a PINCH Hot Sauce, PINCH Hot Oil and PINCH Hot Syrup. The process which got me to where I am today was definitely an uphill journey. There were many other businesses along the way, from GOURMET BITCHES which had its challenges with city regulations, seasonal difficulties and the loss of a great friend/sister to other restaurant concepts like Rose City Kitchen and Smash Kitchen. They were all amazing experiences and more importantly learning lessons. I decided to take a break when I turned 40 and do some soul searching which included reevaluating what I wanted in life as well as in a business. I realized that all my previous businesses only generated income when I was physically working and wanted something more sustainable that could generate income while I slept which lead me to create PINCH. Now I feel like it has become a household name and it is something I can leave behind for my daughter and grandson if they so choose to carry it on.
What made you decide to open up an Estate in Negril?
Estate Serenade was my boyfriend’s vision that he had already began to work on when we first met. I decided to join in on this endeavor when what feels like destiny brought us together. He is the incredible builder and architect with amazing taste and I would like to think that I compliment that. We married our passions to create a 12.5 acre eco –luxury magical haven full of love, energy and nature. It has always been my dream to live a life that combines both city life and the simple life, ie. Living a sustainable farm to table lifestyle. Our farm includes fresh organic seasonal fruits and veggies from bananas, plantain, mangoes, to ackee, guava, limes and many more. We even have local friends to keep you company like our peacocks Bob and Rita, and our German Sheppards Aly and Frankie.
What’s the next business venture for Shontelle Pinch?
I would like to exponentially grow PINCH and expand into the US market. Upon converting to Judaism and loving the cuisine, I have been playing with Challah bread recipes and incorporating PINCH Hot Sauce, of course! I have a few other things that haven’t been finalized just yet, but follow along my journey and you’ll soon see what’s up next.
As a female entrepreneur, what challenges do you face?
It is only a challenge if you allow it to be. I have always thought of myself as a humanist rather than a feminist as I believe we as women are and always have been a force to be reckoned with. We will always persevere as long as we believe in ourselves and continue to live authentically. My mindset has always been, whatever you choose to give energy, it will become whether it be positive or negative. Nothing is impossible – I truly believe if you want it bad enough you can make it happen.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting their own business?
Do it! And make sure you know how to do every role in that chosen industry. For me I was taught at a very young age when I had my first managerial role in a restaurant to learn everything from busing, cooking, ordering, table service, cleaning etc. That way no can hold you hostage in your own business.
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Trini inspired w Jamaican produce @estateserenade By @sippinlive @pinchhotsauce ? 1 large half ripe mango sliced 2 garlic pegs finely diced 1 lime juiced 1/4 red onion diced 2 tbsp chopped cilantro 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp salt Finished w #pinchhotoil #pinchhotsyrup #recipes #serenadenegril #jamaica #local #food #medicine
What do you enjoy doing on your free time/weekends?
My free time differs from most others as my work week ranges from Sunday to Friday. My free time is spent doing Iyenagar Yoga, energy clearing, tennis, and exploring new restaurants. I have no problem traveling to eat, especially when I know it’s done right with quality ingredients. I truly enjoy attending farmers markets which has been a weekend ritual with my mother since I was a little girl. I learned from a young age the importance of supporting local farmers and eating sustainable and seasonal food. I have also started to incorporate Shabbat into my life which is a joyful day of rest to observe and reflect in Judaism. I believe for the mind, body and soul to be well, we all need a break from any external distractions that take away from what is important to us like our spirituality and family. I turn off work mode and remove electronics in order focus all of my energy on my loved ones. It has become such a meaningful part of my weekend to sit at a beautiful table, eating delicious food with the ones you love, talking about life, goals, singing songs and learning life lessons. It refocuses you and resets your mind for the week ahead.
What are your daily practices/rituals?
Shema upon rising – a Jewish prayer that serves as a centerpiece in the morning or evening. I always try to incorporate some time for self-reflection and growth by reading as much as I can about health, mind and body connection. I express my gratitude to set the tone for the rest of the day. I try to incorporate some sort of physical activity like Ivengar yoga and of course a FaceTime call with my beautiful grandson
Be sure to follow along Shontelle’s journey on social media to find out what’s next.