A Jamaican immigrant from a poor, rural background becomes a successful entrepreneur in New York City in this memoir.
HoSang’s debut (with co-author Lee) starts with his humble beginning, when he was born in 1940 in Springfield, Jamaica—a town with no electricity, running water, or paved roads. He was one of 10 children in an immigrant Chinese family, and constant poverty forced his family members to take jobs all over the island; he eventually apprenticed in his uncle’s small grocery. He would later take the lessons that he learned there about supply, demand, and location to the land of opportunity itself—New York, where he toiled as a milkman and factory worker, saving every penny. Opportunity eventually came in the form of a comfort food from his homeland: the Jamaican patty, a flaky turnover filled with beef, chicken, and/or vegetables, which would become the backbone of his food-production business, Caribbean Food Delights. HoSang slowly grew his company, as well as his family, persevering despite crises involving con men, inspectors, strikers, and debtors. All the while, he was spurred on by his desire to put distance between himself and his impoverished origins. HoSang’s memoir effectively portrays a life lived entirely through the lens of enterprise, and it’s full of advice that rejects the cynical shrewdness of typical business guides. Rather, this book is as upbeat as its author, never allowing itself to wallow in failure or self-pity and always emphasizing the importance of faith, focus, and constant hard work. In particular, it stresses the importance of the company that one keeps, as HoSang credits much of his own success to surrounding himself with people whom he trusted and admired. The book also includes firsthand testimonials from many of the key figures in his life, including teachers, partners, friends, and family members.
A striking memoir that’s full of advice, inspiration, and positivity.