Symonette: Checkers Café an Acclaimed Success Story

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From Left: George Cartwright, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Brent Symonette, the Hon. Janet Bostwick and Checker’s Cafe CEO Gus Cartwright at the Checker’s Cafe official grand opening on Thursday, October 18, 2007. (BIS Photo/Tim Aylen)
By: Lindsay Thompson

NASSAU, Bahamas – The hard work of Gus Cartwright, chief executive officer of Checkers Café was praised by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Brent Symonette, as he officially opened the newest in that chain of restaurants on Carmichael Road on Thursday, October 18.

Mr. Symonette said that the opening of the popular eatery symbolizes a Bahamian business success and growth as a result of the right mix of great food, value for money and hard work by its proprietors.

The estimated $2 million, 10,000 square foot restaurant nestled in the heart of the fast growing business district of southwest New Providence, is the third of its establishments and replaces an older one on leased property on Carmichael Road.

Mr. Symonette congratulated Mr. Cartwright, his wife Sandra and other family members for their hard work, long hours and foresight in opening the restaurant famously marked by its red, white and black checker tiling.

“I am advised that Mrs. Cartwright has been a driving force in the success of Checkers Café as a result of her 19 years in the kitchen with her baked goods such as banana cake, coconut tarts, cheese cakes, rum cakes and so forth,” Mr. Symonette said.

Checkers Café opened its first restaurant on Mackey Street in 1989. Another opened on Robinson Road with the third opening on Carmichael Road.

“The Cartwrights deserve every success and should be very proud of their hard work and great achievement,” Mr. Symonette said.

Mr. Cartwright said that he was inspired by his uncle from the tender age of 13 that hard work pays off. He also told his audience of Government officials and close friends that his wife was the driving force behind the success of the business.

Close friend and former Cabinet Minister and MP the Hon. Janet Bostwick told the story of the family from humble beginnings and recalled Mr. Cartwright’s upbringing on Long Island.
“Long Island people can cook, and they are also known for family and a deep consideration for their neighbours,” she said.

Mrs. Bostwick told of how Mr Cartwright evolved from construction worker, an expert in martial arts and clothing store merchant – all a testament to his hard work and discipline in business.

The Bahamian flair was complemented with entertainment by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band and the Erin H. Gilmour School for the Blind Band, to which Mr. Cartwright made a donation.

The new Checkers restaurant, famed for its tasty Bahamian cuisine, will open from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with its drive-through remaining open until 9 p.m.

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From Left: Mr. J. Henry Bostwick, Minister of State for Culture the Hon. Charles Maynard, Minister of State in the Ministry of Legal Affairs the Hon. Desmond Bannister, Checker’s Cafe CEO Gus Cartwright, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Brent Symonette, George Cartwright, Speaker of the House Alvin Smith and Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources the Hon. Larry Cartwright at the Checker’s Cafe official grand opening on Thursday, October 18, 2007. (BIS Photo/Tim Aylen)

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The interior of Checker’s Cafe on Carmichael Road. (BIS Photo/Tim Aylen)