In 1963 four brothers (Ferdie, Sam, Robin and Joe Mahfood) began a company; West Indies Synthetics Limited was formed.
When their father passed away in 1962, the Mahfood sons took over the family business. Continuing on the success of their father with the imported Sebo water boots, thoughts emerged of manufacturing the same product on Jamaican soil. They found a location for the company (the still standing Twickenham Park in Spanish Town) and the brothers began preparing for what eventually became one of the most successful, innovative, family owned businesses in Jamaica.
The Humble Beginning of a Legacy
The brothers celebrated with their modest staff of 12 as they watched the first pair of the famous Iron Man water boots roll off the production line. The rubber footwear, the first locally made product of its kind, would head a long line of innovative products to be introduced by the Company for local and export sales. These included formerly imported plastic containers for ice cream and margarine, their own brand name of Big Boy, Sampson and Iron Man garbage bags, as well as plastic bags and drinking straws.
With the success of local production, Wisynco began their legacy of giving back to Jamaica by saving the country millions of dollars in foreign exchange.
In addition to local production, the brothers also added the Wisynco Trading Ltd. division, the beginning of what would become one of Wisynco’s greatest claims to fame.
A Memorable Decade of Growth
The brothers formed Gator Ltd., added a foam division and began producing a range of products that would make waves on the market. These included foam egg cartons, praised for their prevention against breakage and bacteria, trays for meats and produce, lunch boxes, packaging and Sweet brand plates and cups.
Gator Ltd. manufactured a line of quality leather and canvas footwear, including the famous Hush Puppies. They not only distributed these products island-wide, but also exported some of the items to 26 countries, launching Wisynco to a higher level of success by the late 1970s.
Wisynco Trading Ltd. Gets A Chance To Shine
In 1994 Wisynco Trading immediately took advantage of Jamaica’s newly established open market policy and aggressively sought to represent major international household brands in Jamaica, marking a turning point in the company’s history, and beginning the company’s huge success in distribution.
The future would bring relationships with major brands such as Coca-Cola, Ocean Spray, General Mills, Con-Agra Foods, Kellogg’s; and many more over the years
Jamaica Drink Company is Born
The Jamaica Drink Company was formed in September 1995 with the objective of becoming the primary provider of genuine Jamaican refreshments to Jamaica and eventually to distribute worldwide.
In less than 10 months, machinery had been purchased, a warehouse was converted to a factory and a soft drink processing line was installed.
On July 27th 1996 the FIRST Bigga came off the line, and millions more since then in addition to the other beverages Jamaica Drink Company has been able to produce including the better than water, WATA; Wisynco’s own bottled spring water.
35 years – Just the Beginning
As Wisynco celebrated 35 years of business another celebration was in order with an overall sales jump of 42%. This began a transitional period for Wisycno, stopping certain product lines while acquiring new ones. A personal mission was created to move forward with the most promising products and brands while building relationships and getting ore Wisynco products in supermarket shelves and in the Jamaican households.
Expanding the Family
An overwhelming success in the sales and the increasing demand of the Bigga products called for an expanded JDC plant. Soon, Wisynco welcomed a new product- Wata. A refreshing taste of water with every sip you take, Wata is sourced from an underground spring in St. Catherine and prides on it’s aggressive pricing achieved through efficient production and low production costs.
The Union of Success
Rooted with family pride, Wisynco celebrated the union of West Indies Synthetics, Jamaica Drink Company, and Wisynco Trading on July 1st. The three merged under a single operating entity of what we know today as Wisynco Group. Bigger plans were in the future of the company with a strong strategy to deepen manufacturing and exporting while consolidating all manufacturing operations, warehousing, distribution and corporate office into two locations.
Innovators in Full Force
A big step towards the new Wisynco strategy, to produce growth, was taken when the restaurant side of the operations was started after acquiring the rights of several world- renowned restaurants. Proving their title as the Innovators, Wisynco’s managing director, Willam Mahfood, first introduced this division to Wisynco’s growing portfolio when he acquired Partner Foods and gained franchise rights of Domino’s Pizza and Haagen- Dazs ice cream. In December, Wisynco also added Wendy’s, which was already present on the island, and began its expansion into other areas of the island such as the Montego Bay Sangster International Airport.
No Slowing Down Now
Over the years the heart of Wisynco has shifted as the synthetics division, the original focus of the company, has been slowly scaled down and Wisynco trading and the Jamaica Drink Company has seen startling growth.
An additional production line was built in the JDC site to increase output by approximately 75%; allowing for further production efficiency and making room yet again to meet the growing demands of the extensive line of beverages Wisynco has to offer. Now also including the new line of Cran- Wata, a hybrid of Jamaican purified drinking water infused with cranberry, developed from the partnership between Ocean Spray and Wata.
On October 2007, Wisynco opened the Wisynco Distribution center, a 280,000 square foot warehouse, distribution center and office space at Cow Park in St. Catherine. This structure was unprecedented in corporate Jamaica and in fact became recognized as the largest warehouse on the island.