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Domino's Pizza is set for expansion and remodeling this year as the parent company looks to enhance the customer experience. For the Cable Beach location, AML Foods will double its size and create a "pizza theatre" feature, whereby customers can actually watch the cooks prepare their pie.
Despite the decision of restaurant chain Sbarro to file for bankruptcy this week in the United States, and business in The Bahamas dropping by 50 percent over the past five years, sales at the local restaurants are looking up, according to the brand's Managing Director Charlton Knowles.
He confirmed to Guardian Business that sales "have been climbing every month" within the last year for the company.
"While it's unfortunate what's happening in the U.S., that will not impact our business in any way here in The Bahamas," he explained.
"Sales have been encouraging but it's not definitely at the levels they were prior to the recession. We're still a long way from achieving those numbers.
Between 2008 and 2013, sales dropped by about 50 percent. But now, we are starting to see sales climb back up. It has been gradually going up from year to year. From 2013 to 2014, sales are coming back. For us, sales have been climbing every month since the new board of directors was put in place a year ago."
Knowles believes a full economic turnaround for the pizza eatery will depend on the success of the multibillion-dollar Baha Mar project, the impact it will have on the Bahamian economy and the access that travelers will have to disposable income.
On Monday, Sbarro filed for Chapter 11-bankruptcy protection. According to court filings, the pizza chain and its affiliates have between $100 million and $500 million in debt. It is the second time the company has filed for bankruptcy in less than three years. Sbarro had filed back in 2011 and was working its way out of debt.
The franchise has four locations locally: Downtown, in the Mall at Marathon, on Cable Beach and Carmichael Road, with 68 employees.
"Our company is a separate holding company from the U.S. chain," he said.
"We're not affected by what's going on at the Sbarro corporation. That's a U.S. affair and not a Bahamian affair. Now had we had been corporate owned like the one in the U.S., their operations would have impacted us here in The Bahamas. But that's not the case because we are operating independently."
Sbarro, including franchises, has more than 1,000 locations in 45 countries. The chain opened its first location in Brooklyn in 1956.
Who would have ever thought that the day would come when I would get excited about a Subway store. I certainly never thought I would, but I certainly did when I recently visited the newest store on the island located on Charlotte Street, north.
Actually a few weeks ago, an advertisement in the newspapers for their turkey avocado and bacon sandwich caught my attention, but of course, the problem was the store was downtown, and thoughts of where I would park in the middle of the day to get it had to be factored in. But still, that sandwich is one of the sandwiches of my dreams -- sweet, buttery avocado on moist delicious turkey with a few strips of salty bacon thrown in for good measure - what could possibly be better?
A traditional wood-fired Pizza oven at the new Wildfire pizzeria and bar has added another food option to the already successful mix of retail offerings and commercial enterprise at the Old Fort Bay Town Centre in Western New Providence...
Ask anyone to list the Bahamian institutions licensed by the Ministry of Education to grant associates and bachelors level degrees and see how many will mention Atlantic College.
Even with notable graduates and about a thousand Bahamians benefitting from Atlantic's education and training programs since its 1995 rebranding, the college continues on quietly and unrecognized by many - a situation its Dean of Academic Affairs wants to change.
The institution can trace its roots to 1939, and hundreds if not thousands of commuters heading to and from downtown pass by it every day.
It's located on Hay Street, just off East Street North in the heart of Nassau.
"This little light needs to shine, and shine brightly now," Dr. Diane Major said, the Dean of Academic Affairs. "The country needs us."
She and the college's president, Rev. Dr. R. E. Cooper, spoke with Guardian Business from the adjacent Mission Baptist Church office. Their discussion moving seamlessly from education to compassion, from training to urban development, and from self-improvement to nation building.
The college, they said, plays a unique role in The Bahamas - creating access to a quality education and training from an institution that cares about the success of each of its students. This goal is something Major said is summed up in the college's motto: "The college at the heart of the nation with the nation at it's heart."
"There's a difference here," Major said, mentioning that she has been part of other post-secondary institutes and can make that statement from first-hand experience.
"We have a call, a commission, a compassion, a spirit for the people of the nation. We're not just a business, like many of the others might be. This is a mission."
Major Atlantic College is the most affordable fully recognized associates programs available to Bahamians. With its physical presence in the inner-city and the accessibility, it offers programs and opportunities to so many people from all walks of life. Cooper said the college opens its doors to everyone.
"People see us as that ray of hope when it comes to academics, affording them an opportunity to improve their qualitative skills in a setting that is convenient, accessible and provides that inspiration for learning - that also offers them an opportunity to study in a caring environment with hands on training/instruction, providing students with the opportunity to strategically feel a part of the learning process, where they are essentially given an opportunity to aspire for the best. Not as a number, but as a person," the president said.
Atlantic's initial programs were geared toward Christian studies, offering bachelor's degrees in several related areas. Since 1999, however, it has expanded to include programs in computer information technology, business administration, criminal justice, financial services, psychology and several other fields.
Associates degrees are available from the liberal arts college for popular business, computer and criminal justice tracks. It also offers specialized certificate courses that can be tailored to the students' needs.
Major said that many women are upgrading their skill levels and employability by taking advantage of early-learning and classroom management training offered through the college, for example.
The business community is a beneficiary of Atlantic's training efforts as well.
Major said that Domino's Pizza recently sent 18 mid-level managers there for a customer-service training certificate program.
In a time of continued financial restraint as the national economy struggles to shake off the recent recession, Bahamian businesses may find Atlantic an affordable answer to some of their training needs - while the college itself has not been immune to tightened purses across the nation. The college is reaching out to the business community for support during these times, according to Major, including a local PR firm, Di Philips & Associates, to help get its message out.
"To say we need sponsorships would be a small thing to say, because in a big way, we do. We need help - what school, what mission doesn't need help?" Major said. "We need support so we have begun to reach out."
In the past, response from corporate Bahamas has been minimal. Major added that the college has had "just a little".
Cooper mentioned several prominent Bahamians who have come through Atlantic's programs, listing Sherwin Hall, deputy permanent secretary at parliamentary registration department, John Rolle, the retired deputy commissioner of police and Errol Farquharson, a senior police officer.
It has been one of the most anticipated events on the calendar for 69 years, and in year 70, it's still going strong, as the annual Red Cross Fair offers something for everyone. The fair which is held on the Lower Gardens of the Government House Grounds on Saturday, March 3, is considered the hallmark of true family fun.
At the fair, you can get your fill of the tastiest delicacies like conch salad, conch fritters, crab and rice and fried fish to treats like cotton candy, hotdogs, hamburgers and ice cream. This year, Domino's Pizza and Bamboo Shack will also hawk their wares from stalls at this iconic fair. The Chinese, Filipinos and Jamaicans will also sell food from their countries for people that just want something a little different. Of course, tarts, cakes, cookies and duffs of all sorts are always the order of the day when it's a Bahamian affair.
Eating is only half of the fun. With activities like hoopla, dominoes for those people that just love to slap the ivories, punch board and grab bags holding hidden prizes and the chance to shoot hoops, there is an activity for everyone.
To keep the little ones happy, an elaborate kiddie's corner will be set up. There they can engage in arts and crafts, a treasure hunt, blow up balloons, karaoke, get their faces painted and enjoy the puppet shows. A haunted house and rides like Dixie Twister, Rock Wall and Super Slide will make the older kids happier.
For the fickle teens and the young-at-heart, a "young people's disco" with DJ Fines will also be another big highlight of the evening as it has been in years past.
With displays of crafts, books, plants and other things, the Red Cross Fair will have it all. Even the chance to check up on your health, with nurses doing free blood pressure and glucose level checks throughout the day.
And of course, a Bahamian affair would not be complete with musical entertainment. The Police Pop Band and Prison Pop Band, Dillion McKenzie and Terez Hepburn will light up the fair as only Bahamian musicians can. And a rushout by the Shell Saxon Superstars will simply seal the deal.
"No one will be left out. This is truly the perfect family occasion," said Pauline Allen-Dean, the fair's chairperson who said there will be no end to the amount of fun and entertainment that will be available this weekend.
In an effort to make the Red Cross Fair a truly Bahamian affair, it is being held this year under the theme "Celebrating Our Family of Islands Together for Humanity", which will not just serve as the theme for the event, but also act as a source of creativity for the annual booth decoration competition. All booths are encouraged to choose a Family Island and design their booth to complement the things that island is famous for.
"We want this year's fair to be a true representation of The Bahamas," said Allen-Dean. "We wanted to pay homage to the Red Cross posts throughout the islands, as well as show thankfulness for those who send us supplies to keep this fair going annually. They may not be coming, but the stations and concerned individuals send things for us because they know it will be a big help to make this event a success."
Shannise Nairn, 34, is excited to attend the event which has been her family's tradition to attend since she was a toddler. She couldn't imagine not attending the fair.
"The Red Cross Fair is the 'it' thing for me and my family. It is so much fun and I have been attending it since I was a child. This is something my grandmother remembers attending and taking my mom and uncles to. She tells me stories about it and every year she still goes out to it even though she's in a wheelchair now. This is a true Bahamian tradition and people need to come out. It's not only fun, but it's the great way to give back to the community at large since the funds from the fair go to the Red Cross at the end of the day."
Red Cross Fair
When: Saturday, March 3
Where: Lower Gardens, Government House Grounds
Time: 12 noon - until
Admission: $2 adults, $1 children
Today's column continues to highlight that special decade of baseball in The Bahamas, the 1970s. The "best-of-the-best" performed for local fans. The senior league of the Bahamas Baseball Association (BBA) was arguably the most attractive sports entity at the time. Basketball was certainly quite popular and cricket still had a solid connection to many Bahamians.
Baseball at the Andre Rodgers stadium during the 1970s, however, was something extra special. The satellite era was not upon us fully and the fans flocked to night and weekend games. Being in attendance was a great experience. Luminaries, present day stars and icons like Andre Rodgers, Tony Curry, and the energetic All-History president George Mackey, afforded all and sundry a bit of interaction.
It was a great, big family affair, baseball at the Rodgers stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. The high point was the performance of the top players. There were many great ones for sure.
The All-Bahamian Team of 1978 was a case in point. The team included the first team for all of the positions plus the designated hitter. One could make a case easily for seven of the 10 being on a Bahamian Baseball All-History Team. The pitcher was Bertie Murray (All-History); Lorenzo "Doonie" Lockhart at second base (All-History); Roosevelt "Bruso" Turner at third base (All-History); Jayson "Peg" Moxey, Fred "Papa" Smith and Eddie Ford in the outfield (three All-History players); Simeon Humes was the designated batter (All-History).
Bertie happens only to be the most durable, yet talented pitcher in the history of baseball in The Bahamas. Who would argue about Lockhart's place in history? Asa Ferguson always called Lockhart "Captain Blood". He was indeed bloodthirsty when he went up to bat. Because his hitting was so potent, there was a tendency to underestimate his play at second and his running on the base paths. He was not as stylish as others, but he got the job done efficiently.
Turner was flash. He was pizzazz and extremely good. At short and third he was a high quality infielder. He was steady at the plate and packed surprising power, as his home-run totals for a few seasons of his long career indicated. Moxey was a slightly larger version in the Turner mold. His forte was the outfield. In 1978, he was the manager of the Holsten Knights and won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, impressively handling double duties.
Smith and Ford were all, of the very same ilk. They all played professional baseball. They hit for average and power. They were great thinkers when quick decisions were necessary on the diamond. However for them, mostly the game came automatically. They had so mastered the art. If I had to choose between the three All-History performers in the outfield, I would give Ford the edge. I haven't seen any better, inclusive of the long list of major league greats.
They just had the big stage. Humes did it all, like Moxey, Ford, and Smith and with the added designated hitter position, he was a no-brainer. He's All-History most definitely.
Peter Bethel, the long, rangy infielder who could hit the ball with the best of them, for average and power, could be an All-History choice. He was the 1978 All-Bahamian at first base. Catching was Charles Mackey who enjoyed a very good season with the St. Michael's ball club. Kenny Fox was at short on the 1978 All-Bahamian team.
What made the decade of the 1970s so great was the fact that at least three All-Bahamian Teams could have been selected and there would have been little argument about the players named. On the mound, Vincent Strachan or Eugene Taylor could easily have been selected for the 1978 squad. Spurgeon Johnson had a great season behind the plate and Sidney Outten, even with a not so awesome bat, was superb enough as a receiver.
In the infield, players like Roy 'Cowboy' Rodgers, Anthony 'Poker' Huyler, Harry Miller, Fred Taylor, and Jerome Moxey would have been good fits for the All-Bahamian team of 1978. So would Dick Lockhart, John Williams, Dencil Clarke and a few others, in the outfield. Such was the available talent during the 1970s. The year 1978 was a prime example. Jayson Moxey was the MVP. Huyler was 'Manager of the Year'. Murray was selected 'Pitcher of the Year' and a young hurler named Arthur 'Baldy' Seymour was 'Rookie of the Year'.
The year 1978 was indeed, a very good one.
Milestone baseball information provided by Sports Historian Jeff Williams.To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.
Salt -- it makes all foods taste really good, including a little sprinkle on slices of cantaloupe melon to bring out the sweetness -- and most people use it quite liberally. Actually most Bahamians intake more sodium [salt] than is recommended for a healthy diet, and that could lead to serious health problems, according to a family medical practitioner. Dr. Patrick Whitfield says too much sodium increases a person's risk for high blood pressure and that he said often leads to heart disease and stroke.
Dr. Whitfield, who practices out of the Oxford Medical Center, says heart attacks, heart failure, strokes and kidney failure are outcomes of high blood pressure and that collectively it has an enormous impact on premature death and disability in Bahamians.
"Most people eat on average about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day. The United States dietary guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (1 teaspoon) per day and recommends that about six in 10 adults -- people who are 51 years or older, people with high blood pressure in all age groups, people with diabetes and people with chronic kidney disease -- should further limit their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day [about two-thirds of a teaspoon]," said Dr. Whitfield.
According to the doctor, the amounts listed are upper limits and less is usually best, even though the body does need some sodium to help it to function properly. Sodium helps to maintain the right balance of fluids in the body, helps transmit nerve impulses and influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
He said most Bahamians can benefit from reducing their sodium intake, and they can do so by eating more fresh foods, opting for low-sodium products, removing salt from recipes whenever possible, limiting the use of sodium-laden condiments, using herbs, spices and other flavorings to season foods and using salt substitutes wisely.
According to Dr. Whitfield, most of the sodium people eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants, and that as salt is already part of the processed foods it cannot be removed.
He encourages people who want to control their sodium intake to be savvy shoppers, and know which foods to limit or avoid such as fast food cheeseburgers, barbecued ribs and chicken, dairy products such as cottage cheese, canned soups, and sauces (soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, mustard, pickles and olives which he said can add a lot of salt to food), nuts and vegetables. Snacks such as pretzels and chips he said should also be limited or avoided. Flour-based products such as bread, bagels, bakery items like pies and cookies he said should be consumed in moderation. Pizza and deli meats, frozen dinners and vegetable juices he also said should be limited.
The doctor encouraged people to enjoy more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods. And he encouraged the consumption of more whole grain products like fish, poultry and nuts. An alternative to salt he said is to add spices, herbs and pepper as an alternative to perk up the flavor of foods.
"When shopping, people should look to purchase fresh, frozen or canned vegetables without added salt most often."
He also encourages people to read nutrition labels and compare the amount of sodium in the processed food like frozen dinners, packaged mixes, cereals, breads, soups, salad dressing and sauces, as the amount in different types and brands vary widely. He said people should look for labels that read low sodium or no sodium.
A rundown on common sodium claims, according to the mayoclinic.com shows that sodium-free or salt free means that each serving of a product contains less than 5 milligrams of sodium. Very low sodium means each serving contains 35 milligrams of sodium or less. Reduced or less sodium means the product contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version. Lite or light in sodium means the sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent from the regular version, and unsalted or no salt added means that no salt is added during the processing of a food that normally contains salt.
When eating out, Dr. Whitfield encourages people to choose plain foods like grilled or roasted entrees, baked potatoes and salad with oil and vinegar. He said batter-fried foods and combination dishes like stews or pasta with sauce tend to be high in salt.
As salt is an acquired taste, the doctor said people can learn to enjoy less. And that their taste buds will adjust as they decrease their use of salt gradually. After a few weeks of cutting back on salt, he says you probably won't miss it, and some foods may even taste too salty.