Bold moves take guts. Monique Farquharson, co-founder of PetitSquares, has always loved Japan. However, she couldn’t find a way actively make this love come alive in Jamaica. Until now. This 25-year-old, with her captivating smile and amicable personality, has made great strides with introducing an unknown product to the Jamaican market. This product is Matcha, a form of powdered green tea primarily found in Japan. Read more to learn how this phenomenal woman is transforming the Jamaican food and beverage industry.
Baking became my first-love while I was an Actuarial Science student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. I wanted to transform my love for baking into a business, but that didn’t seem like a fresh idea. What’s so special about another coconut cake?
That’s when I thought that I could be different by selling my cakes as small squares. As a Mathematician, I understood that a square is a perfect shape because all of its sides and angles are equal. My PetitSquares would represent balanced portioning…an acceptable amount of a sweet treat.
I decided to forgo the baking idea because I was very busy on campus. I founded a club, was a Peer Advisor, and studying hard to complete my degree. One day, the executive of the club I founded and I were invited to a special presentation. The presentation was led by women who wanted to offer Matcha to UWI students.
Monique didn’t gravitate to the idea initially. A few months later, however, she watched a Matcha roll cake recipe video on BuzzFeed and was thrilled. The video demonstrated the versatility of this special green tea and provided the perfect marriage between her love for baking and desire to open her own unique business.
- A variety of Matcha based beverages at Loshusan’s Juice bar
- These are premium grade Matcha tea packets
- Matcha-specific products. Special tools are required to make Matcha tea.
If you could describe your business in one word, what would that word be?
Me. PetitSquares combines all of my passions under one umbrella. She’s able to use her skills as a Business Analyst to maximize on Matcha’s versatility.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
It was hard just trying to get on my feet. I had limited opportunities. Matcha is also a foreign concept to Jamaicans. Persistence won the battle. I eventually met Mr. Bruce Loshusan, owner of Loshusan supermarket. He believed in my vision and gave me an opportunity to feature the products in his supermarket. His support has given me the start PetitSquares needed.
Who inspires you and why?
Rhianna and Bruce Loshusan are my greatest inspirations. I admire Rhianna’s ability to hone her skills and venture into multiple industries. She’s serious about what she does and knows what she wants. It’s inspiring to see a young woman from the Caribbean living beyond limits.
Bruse Loshusan’s kindness and strong business sense also inspire me. He has been a mentor to me. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities he has provided me with. I hope that I can also help another business owner get a much-needed start one day.
What philosophy do you live by?
If you don’t do it, someone else will. I believe that we should make use of the opportunities we’re given. Everyone craves success, but you won’t achieve it if you let opportunities slip through your fingers.
What tips would you give to other women trying to start their own businesses?
Just do it. Don’t stop despite the odds stacked against you. There will be people who won’t see your vision. I had to learn this the hard way. No is one of the hardest words to hear, but it’s a necessary word. Setbacks are an important part of life’s experiences. Still move forward.
How can people contact you?
Phone: 1- 876- 807- 6000