A Business Built on Service
Our Family History
Six generations of Ramson’s have served Jamaica in the public service, the church, and as pillars of the business community. Christopher Luce Ramson came to the island from England in 1828, to become the Coroner and Clerk of the Peace for the parish of St. Elizabeth. He was the father of John Luce Ramson, who was the rector of the parish of St. Elizabeth and was later Archdeacon of the County of Cornwall.
Archdeacon John Luce Ramson was the father of two sons. Herbert Ernest Ramson became the Collector of Taxes in Manchester, and John Luce Ramson, who in turn was Archdeacon of Surrey. Ramson Hall in Kingston was named after this prominent churchman. Charles E. Ramson, the eldest son of Herbert Ernest Ramson was founder of the company which bears his name to this day, and father of Laurie Ramson, who built the company after his father passed at a young age. His son, in turn, John Charles Ramson who succeeded him as Managing Director of the company is the third generation to serve the company, and the fifth generation to play a role in the life of Jamaica. John Ramson has now relinquished the role of Managing Director to his son – Phillip Ramson, John remains as Chairman. Phillip Ramson is now the fourth generation to lead the company as we approach 100 years in operation.
A Business Built on Service
The armistice that marked the end of World War 1 had been signed less than four years and the world had returned to rebuilding the peace, when Charles E. Ramson returned to Jamaica from the United States of America to establish a new company at 311/2 Oliver Place in what was then the business area of Jamaica’s capital city, Kingston. He was returning to the island where his Great Grandfather, Christopher Luce Ramson had left England to settle in, and arrived in 1828 to serve as Coroner and Clerk of the Peace in St. Elizabeth.
Charles Ramson set up business as a Commission Agent and Manufacturer’s Representative, selling “Kelloggs Corn Flakes” and “Sunshine Biscuits” and Salted Cod Fish imported from Newfoundland. “Charlie” Ramson as he was familiarly known, canvassed orders for direct shipment from principals to local wholesalers and he imported stocks to smaller shops, the goods being transported through the streets of Kingston in mule drawn drays.
Tragedy dogged the family and in 1928, one hundred years after his Grandfather had landed in Jamaica, Charles Ramson died at the relatively young age of 42 years. His widow, Rose, was left to carry on the business with the encouragement of his overseas principals. His son, Laurie, then only 15, finished school but gave up his intended study of dentistry and began his working career, first with Carmen and Bruce, and Victoria Mutual Building Society, and then with his mother in the family company. The year was 1932, and within a year the firm become a limited liability company and Mrs. Ramson and her eldest son set about building the reputation of reliability and service that the company enjoys today.
It was by no means an easy task, with only a small staff, Laurie himself undertook the clearance of goods through customs, acted as salesman and collector, travelling the island and learnt the business the best way, by having to take on every job that needed to be done himself. It was experience that was to prove invaluable and provided a fundamental training in business that was to serve the company in good stead for the next half century.
As the firm grew, new, larger and more convenient premises were taken, first at 1041/4 Harbour Street in June 1945, and again, as the now- well-established firm required even more suitable premises at 551/2 West Street, in 1953.
The difficult years of World War 11 had created changes in business practice in Jamaica and following the changing trend, Chas. E. Ramson Limited became Distributors and Stockists. As the staff expanded, Danny DaCosta joined the firm in 1947 in charge of sales and Gloria deMercado joined the company in 1951 and the two were soon Directors of the company and Mrs. deMarcado became the company’s accountant.
In the Industrial surge which took place in Jamaica following Independence in 1962, Laurie Ramson took the decision to go into manufacturing and factories were established to produce “Foska” Oats in a joint venture with the giant “Kelloggs” cereal company in the United States of America and “Acco” stationery products with the overseas company of the same name.
From the early 1960’s Chas. E. Ramson Limited had been distributing the imported “Foska” Oats and “Acco” line of products, so therefore it was natural for the company to go one step further and establish manufacturing operations in Jamaica. Distribution of the locally manufactured “Foska” Oats was started by Chas. E. Ramson Limited in 1967 and the “Acco “line of Jamaican made products appeared in stationery stores in 1970. The company continued to grow in the new decade of the 70”s and in 1974 the company built new offices and warehouse facilities on spacious grounds at 449 Spanish Town Road, Kingston 11, where the company and its operations are located today.
In 1971, Laurie’s son, John Charles, became the third generation of the family to assume executive responsibility with the company and was first appointed Financial Controller and in 1984 he became the company’s Managing Director, with his father retaining responsibility of Company Chairman.
The firm Chas. E. Ramson Limited has grown with Jamaica and today is an important supplier of quality products both locally manufactured and imported, meeting the demands of Jamaica’s domestic, tourist and export trade. With a substantially increased staff, modern computerized systems, modern equipment and over ninety five years of solid service behind it, the company Chas. E. Ramson Limited is a national business institution that will continue to build on its record of service and reliability to Jamaica.Show Less
Our Vision Statement
To be a great Jamaican company recognized for excellence across the region and a benchmark for service and quality.
Our Management Team
The company has grown from its humble beginnings of two employees to over one hundred and sixty, inclusive of over 60 Merchandisers island wide, by maintaining a strong complement of highly reputable brands and an excellent management team.
John C. Ramson
Chairman – John C. Ramson
John C. Ramson, grandson of Charles Ramson, is the Chairman of Chas. E. Ramson Limited. In his nearly 50 years with the company, he has led the tradition of growth and expansion, much of which was done with his late father, Lauritz Ramson. Educated at St. George’s College and Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, Canada, John C. Ramson returned to Jamaica to join Chas. E. Ramson Limited as Controller in 1971 and was appointed Managing Director of the company in succession to his father in January 1984. He was appointed the Royal Danish Consul General in Jamaica in December 1985. A popular and capable yachtsman he represented Jamaica in yachting in Montreal in 1967 and is a fisherman and bird shooter.
He is the Chairman of Caribbean Foods Limited and Chas. E. Ramson Limited and was a Director of Salada Foods Jamaica Ltd, Berec Caribbean Limited, Acco Jamaica Limited, The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Exporters Association and the Jamaica Manufacturers Association. Married to Mary for 47 years, they have three sons: Christopher, Richard and Phillip, who are all in the business today. When he is not busy at work, John enjoys fishing, shooting and sailing.
Managing DirectorView Bio
Managing Director – Phillip Charles Ramson
Phillip Charles Ramson was born January 16, 1978 in Toronto, Canada. His academic career began at St. Peter and Paul Preparatory and later Campion College 1989-93. He continued his studies and graduated from St. Andrews High School in Boca Raton, Florida 1996. Phillip attended the University of Tampa, where he studied and read for his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.
Upon completing his tertiary education he returned home to Jamaica to nurture and put into practice what he had learned while abroad. He immediately began working in his family's business, Chas. E. Ramson Limited, where he dedicated 15 years of service to learning the inner workings of the company. Phillip held the positions of Sales Manager- Western Distribution Centre, Area Manager- Western Distribution Centre, and Sales Manager National and International sales. His academic career and dedication to his work has made him worthy of the position he now holds at Chas. E. Ramson Limited as Managing Director.
Phillip is a Director of Caribbean Foods Limited, Chas. E. Ramson Limited and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce. He is also happily married to his wife Karen and has two children, Sarah and Alexander. He is an avid fan of sports - baseball, football, cricket and bird shooting.
Consultant, Sales & MarketingView Bio
Consultant, Sales & Marketing – Raymond Silvera
Raymond Silvera is a consultant for the Sales & Marketing Departments at Chas. E. Ramson Limited. He oversees many aspects of the business from transportation, both warehouses, grounds management and security. He has been with the company for 30 years after starting as a sales representative. He describes his years at Ramson’s as an “Institution of Higher Learning” as he was given many challenges, opportunities and the experience of working with many true professionals. In the early days he recalls that people had the money to buy goods, and that goods were always in short supply. Today the business is much different, it is much more competitive and challenging, and the expectations are much higher. The market is like a battleground which makes doing business a lot more difficult. Uncertain exchange rates, rising fuel costs and electricity costs spiraling out of control. However we keep a positive outlook for the future, and plan accordingly. Raymond is married to Elizabeth and has two children: Kathryn and Stephen who are both in the family business today.
Director of OperationsView Bio
Director of Operations - Christopher Ramson
Christopher Ramson is the Director of Operations as Chas. E. Ramson Limited. Christopher joined Chas. E. Ramson Limited in 2002 as Business Development Manager after having returned from studying International Business at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. Christopher was promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2006 and made a director of the company in 2009. Christopher was promoted to Director of Operations in 2017 where he oversees the general operations and logistical side of the business.
Director of CreditView Bio
Director of Credit – Elizabeth Silvera
Elizabeth Silvera is Director of Credit where she has direct oversight for the management of the company’s Credit Department. She has been with the company for over 30 years and has held many positions such as Operations Manager.
Elizabeth was educated at St. Andrew High School and Shaw’s Business School in Toronto, Canada. Elizabeth fondly remembers her father, Lauritz Ramson, who she worked closely with and considered her Mentor and Teacher. Over the years, she has witnessed the development of Chas. E. Ramson Ltd. to include many House Brands such as Ramson’s and Foska Oats.
She is Director of Chas. E. Ramson Ltd. and also Caribbean Foods Ltd. as well as the company secretary. Elizabeth is married to Raymond and enjoys travelling, cooking and watching cricket.
Director of Sales & MarketingView Bio
Director of Sales & Marketing – Kathryn Silvera
Kathryn graduated Summa Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in International Hospitality and Tourism Management, after which she dabbled in Hotel Management for 4 years before joining Chas. E. Ramson Limited. Kathryn joined the company as brand manager in May 2007 with the task of spearheading several brands and she achieved tremendous growth in sales. She was promoted to Advertising & Marketing Manager in July 2013. While in that role, she assisted in elevating awareness for the company by developing its social presence on Facebook and Instagram, as well as re-designing the Company Website. Kathryn also oversaw the marketing of the company and over 40 brands it distributes in Jamaica.
In November 2021, Kathryn was promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing with the task of sales growth, customer development and continued marketing and awareness for Chas. E. Ramson Limited.
Kathryn is a Director of Chas. E. Ramson Limited, Caribbean Foods Limited and the Jamaican Manufacturers and Exporters Association where she serves on several committees. In her spare time she enjoys reading, travelling and hitting the dance floor.
Merchandising & Promotions ManagerView Bio
Merchandising & Promotions Manager – Ruth-Ann Byfield
Ruth-Ann Byfield is the Merchandising & Promotions Manager. Responsible for the largest department in the organization, Ruth-Ann also oversees the execution of all trade and event promotions.
Ruth Ann joined the team with over 12 years’ experience in the food and beverage and hospitality industry in the tourism capital of Jamaica where she specifically focused on customer service, branding, promotions and events.
Ruth-Ann is very passionate about community service and youth development in Jamaica and has served on both youth club and citizens associations committees.
She is a proud alumna of Wolmers’ High School for Girls and is currently completing her MBA in Sales and Marketing.
Ruth-Ann enjoys reading and exploring Jamaica and is the proud mother of one son.
Area ManagerView Bio
Area Manager – Suzette Hinds Rubie
Suzette Hinds-Rubie is the Area Manager for Chas. E. Ramson Limited’s Western Distribution Centre where she is responsible for all sales and administration activities. Suzette has proven leadership skills and tenacity which propels and motivates team members to achieve targets. She has immensely contributed in helping the company in attaining annual sales budgets.
Previously Suzette worked for Restaurants of Jamaica for over eight years in a similar capacity and made significant contributions. Her footprint and her service have been imprinted in the minds of everyone she worked with.
Suzette Hinds-Rubie is a graduate from the University of Technology and Northern Caribbean University. She is married and has two adorable children. She is a Christian and an active participant in her church. She enjoys reading, baking and traveling.
Brand ManagerView Bio
Stephen Silvera - Brand Manager
Stephen graduated in 2008 from The University of Tampa with a degree in Business Management, a minor in Economics, and an instructor of Scuba Diving. Stephen ventured into a short career of commercial diving, before joining Chas. E. Ramson in March 2011 with the task of Assistant Warehouse Manager in the Western Distribution Centre in Montego Bay. In February 2013 Stephen was promoted to Sales Supervisor for the island, visiting stores and working alongside the Sales Reps for two years. In December 2015, Stephen moved back to Kingston to take on a new role of Brand Manager which included the management of 11 brands. While in this role, he grew the Hungry Jack brand year over year by infiltrating the brands presence within the Breakfast Party scene that catapulted the growth of the brand.
In October 2022, Stephen was promoted to Logistics Manager to assist with the overall warehousing and operations of the company along with fleet management for the company’s vehicles. In his spare time he enjoys sport fishing and drifting.
Financial ControllerView Bio
Financial Controller - Cecilia Lewis
Cecilia Lewis is an Accounting professional who has spent just over 25 years working in Corporate Jamaica. She started from humble beginnings and as early as high school had set her sights on being an accountant. She had the opportunity of working in various industries such as Manufacturing, Warehousing and Distribution, Financial and Hospitality with also a short time in practice. These experiences molded and shaped her technical skills and competencies.
The turning point of her career came where she was offered employment in 2009 at a major Ware Housing and Distribution company as a financial analyst and rose to the position of Financial Controller, after only three years on the job. She became a qualified Accountant in January 2016 and gained memberships in 2017 in the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) and also the local body of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) which she currently serves as a member of the Membership and Welfare sub-committees. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Finance Management with London School of Business and Finance.
In her spare time she is the Finance Chair on The Board of her Citizens Association (Caymanas Country Club Estate) and volunteers as a marshal for the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA).
Cecilia is a mother of two adult children Shauna-Lee and Sasha-Gay and a proud grandmother of a six year old grandson.
Chas. E. Ramson Limited specializes in serving the Jamaican market by operating and distributing out of two conveniently located warehouses in Kingston, the island’s capital and Montego-Bay, the island’s second city. With climate controlled sections for wines, meats and other perishables, the company’s facilities are able to ensure that goods are properly stored and their quality maintained to service the retail, wholesale, hotel and restaurant sectors.Contact us to find out more