92-year-old family business takes 40 percent hit as hotel business dries up
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A well-known Bahamian candy manufacturer says that with the downturn in the tourism industry wiping out a “consistent 40 percent” of its business, it is now relying solely on its faithful local customers to keep the doors of the 92-year-old family business open.
Cale Mortimer, president of Mortimer’s Candies told Eyewitness News that the business, which was founded in 1928 and remains a landmark in the “Over-the-Hill” community, is in a fight for its survival like many other businesses.
“Due to the fact that we sell a luxury item per se and not a necessity people tend to stay away and keep money for their needs,” Mortimer said.
“We are still here, still fighting, trying to make it with the few dollars that are coming in.
“Right now it’s our faithful customers that are keeping the doors open.
“Most of our clientele would be coming and going in the downtown district but downtown is closed right now,” Mortimer added.
Despite the downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mortimer says he has kept his six employees working.
He said: “I still have all six of my staff working; shifting the days to make sure everyone can make something.”
Mortimer explained that sales to the local hotels accounted for roughly 40 percent of the company’s business, but with the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions impacting the industry, resorts have remained closed, eliminating a major revenue stream.
Furthermore, major resorts such as Baha Mar, Atlantis and Sandals Royal Bahamian have either not yet committed to a reopening date or postponed reopening until January.
“We are waiting on that part of the business to return,” said Mortimer.
“Maybe around Thanksgiving people will start traveling again.
“The hotel business might be about 40 percent for us. When it is there it’s a consistent 40 percent.
“Sixty percent of the business is over-the-counter and sales to the wholesalers.
“With things the way they are now that has probably dropped to around 40 percent now.”