Successful Caribbean Vegan
Eat of Eden
Basil Is CEO of The Successful Well Being & Culture Stores Chain ‘Pempamsie’. This Is Complimented By His Chain of Caribbean Vegan Restaurants ‘Eats of Eden’.
In The Month of Fathers’ Day He Took A Moment To Chill & Chat With Our Business Page Durin’ A Very Exclusive, Powerful & Topical Interview.
Here He Talks About His Sense of Community, The Importance of Independence And Self-Empowerment, His Father’s Work Ethic And Bein’ Take Under The Wing of A Local Businessman.
BASIL’S BRILLIANT BUSINESS STORY
As A South London Entrepreneur, A Former Protege of A Local Businessman (Stan West) And A Well Connected Member of The Local Community, Basil (“Linx”) Palmer Is A Natural Quiet Charmer With Strong Values. These Values Have Helped Him Build A Successful Business Empire And Continue To Take Him Far As He Ventures Into The Digital Finance World of Block Chain.
Tradin’ On Brixton Hill For Over Twenty Years Pempamsie Is Now A Leadin’ Health Hub & The Original Store In A Chain of Shops Which Expanded Durin’ Lockdown Due To High Demand (pempamsie.com). He Is A Practitioner of What We Call “Conscious Commerce” At TheOrator.Press. Pempamsie Is A Cultural Symbol Which Represents “Strength, Unity & Preparation” From The African Adinkra Communty. Here He Shares How His Business Survived Corona, The Values Learnt From His Jamaican Father, And How He Believes Self-Development & Independence Can Help A Community To Go Further & Do Better.
Linx Is A Philosophical Man And This Is Reflected Throughout His Self-Confident Approach To Business. He’s Thoughtful, Focused & Strategic. And He Has Managed To Find A Magic Mix of Corporate & Community Entreprenurial Spirit.
Andinkra Are African Visual Communication Symbols of Philosophical & Historical Significance. They Reflect The Richness of The Akan Culture & Originate From The Gyaman People of Ghana & La Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The “Pempamsie” Adinkra Symbol Represents Strength, Unity, And Preparation. Essentially Strength Through Unity. It Signifies Readiness, Steadiness & Hardiness.
This Popular Cultural Symbol Features Two Vertical Inward Facin’ Swirl Figures (Like Two Inverted Swirly Number 3s or Letter Es). They Are Linked Together By A Central Vertical Column, And Are Said To Represent The Links of A Chain In A Positive Way.
Various Adinkra Culture Signs Are Used As Motifs of Encouragement, Empowerment & Protection. As Such They Are often Featured In Logos, In Clothes, On Cloth, On Furniture, As Business Brandin’ or As Part of Sculpture.
Pempamsie Stores Sell Essential Oils, Herbs, Vitamins & Tonics. Hair & Skin Products, Health & Beauty Products. And Also Arts & Cultural Artefacts Such As African Art, Cultural Greetin’ Cards (nsaanefateri.com), Specialist Books, Decorative Face Coverings, And Beautiful Black Children’s Dollies (hellonanadolls.com).
Linx Is A Veteran Holistic Health Practitioner Who Has Presented Health Talks In Association With The Health Charity Prostate UK. He Conducts Customer Health Consultations At The Vel Treatment Rooms (Subject To Appointment) And He Believes Passionately In Self-Empowerment Through Self Care.
As Well As Bein’ Au Fait With The Workins’ of Western Medicine He Is Also Cognisant of African Caribbean Medicinal Cultures & Practitioners Such As The Likes of Dr Sebi, Dr Jason Batson, Llaila Afrika, Queen Afua.
There Are Currently 4 Pempamsie Health & Cultural Stores In The UK And Plans For Expansion Into Ghana, Further Into West Africa, Plus Jamaica And The USA (pempamsie.com).
Eat of Eden
Linx Compliments The Pempamsie Health Stores With A Chain of Vibrant Caribbean Vegan Restaurants Called ‘Eat of Eden’ (eatofeden.co.uk). Central To Their Values Is The Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Adviser & Architect Imhotep’s Philosophy “Let Food Be Thy Medicine & Let Medicine Be Thy Food.”
Eat of Eden Takes Jamaican Ital Food To Another Level By Goin’ Totally Vegan (A Wholly Plant Based Food Discipline). However In Its Original Form Essentially Ital Food Is Jamaican Vegetarian Food Central To The Rastafarian Religion.
This Religion Holds True That Vegetarianism Is A Cleaner Less Toxic Way of Eatin, And Thus Brings One Closer To Nature’s Positive Energy & Universal Life Force. Internally & Spiritually. And In Turn That’s All Empowerin’. Eat of Eden Took It To The Next Level. Full On Vegan!
Vel Treatment Rooms
For A Totally Holistic Approach To The Enterprise of Self-Love Basil Has Opened A Health & Beauty Salon Along With Business Partner June Baptiste, Where Clients May Book Colonic Irrigation Treatments, Acupuncture, Massage, Makeovers & Even Scalp Micropigmentation For Men. Plus One to One Health Consultations For Available. (https://instagram.com/veltreatmentroons)
So How Are You Today? And How’s The Lockdown Lift Goin’?
I’m Good. It Was A Usual Business Day. I’ve Been With One of My Advisers All Day.
It Was Business As Usual For Us And The Feedback From The Customers Was That We Were Appreciated For Stayin Open Whilst Other Stores Were Locked Down or Had Extremely Long Queues. Our Sales Went Up Significantly In Terms Hair & Skin Products & Health Foods.
What’s Been The Biggest Impact of The Lockdown?
A Lot of People Who Had Not Previously Focused On Health Now Started To Do So. Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal Product Sales Went Up Enormously, As Did Sales of Immune Boosters, Vitamins And Minerals.
Yes I Noticed A Big Claim On Your Instagram About Such A Product, Called “Nano Silver” & It’s Protective Powers. How Are You So Confident To Make Such Claims?
It’s Immune Boostin, Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial, And Anti Fungal Qualities Are Well Documented, Tested & Proven By The Manufacturers And Many Health Practitioners Internationally.
Okay. So Do You Ever Get Feedback From Customers Sayin’ Such Products Have Worked Well And Made A Difference, Particularly To Those Who Are So Called “Vaccine Hesitant?”
Lots of People Have Given That Feedback. Especially Since GPs Weren’t Lettin People Into Surgeries, Lots of Hospitals Weren’t Dealin’ With Routine Conditions Such As Arthritis, High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Constipation, Fibroids & Prostate Issues. That’s When You Realise People In The Community Need A Lot of Support. We Saw That And Took It As Our Responsibility To Be Here.
Some Shops (Considered “Essential”) Were Allowed To Stay Open & Other Shops Not Considered Essential Were Forced To Close. How Do They Inform Traders Which Group They Fall Into?
The Council Send Businesses A Letter. They Set Out All The Different Categories And See Which You Fall Into. Plus They Have Monitors & Wardens. I’m Aware of Businesses Which Stayed Open And Then Had A Visit From Covid Wardens And Were Threatened With Fines And Forced To Close.
Restaurants Allowed To Do Takeaways Often Traded Through Delivery Platforms Such As Just Eat, Deliveroo & Uber Eats. I’ve Been Told By A Restaurant Source Some Platforms Take Their Pound of Flesh (If You’ll Pardon The Expression). Is That True?
“The Delivery Platforms Are In Business To Make A Profit” (He Says Diplomatically. And He Also Informs Me His Business Built Its Own Delivery App).
Which Did More Business For You, Your Own App or The Delivery Platforms?
Initially It Was The Delivery Platforms Because We Did Not Have An App of Our Own At First. But Eventually It Was Our Own App That Did The Best Business For Us After We Invested In Buildin’ One. There Was A Lot That Had To Be Done, Includin’ Investin’ In The Technology & Infrastructure Such As Vehicles, Marketin’ And Staff. Now The Dynamics Have Completely Changed And Approximately 70% of Our Business Is Through Our Delivery Service App.
After That The Government Eventually Allowed Reduced Capacity Social Distancin. Have The People Kept Comin – Across All Your Businesses?
Yes They Have Kept Comin, Across All The Businesses.
How Have You Been Copin With Compliance Measures And Was It Costly?
We’ve Just Kept Within The Rules And Have Been Doin’ What We All Have To Do. Had We Not Done That It May Have Been Costly In Terms of A Greater Risk To The Health of Our Staff And Customers. Plus Financial Risk In Terms of Fines. Also We Were Entitled To Assistance Through The Government Business Grants.
So Where Did You Go To School?
I Was Born In South London, Went To School In Battersea And I See Myself As A World Citizen.
Did You Know At School That You Wanted To Be An Entrepreneur – And If So How Come & If Not Why Not?
Yes I Did. It Was My Father. He Installed A Sense of Hope. Faith. Positivity. The Foundations of How To Treat People. How To Have Sustainable Relationships. Integrity. And A Strong Work Ethic.
What Was His Work Ethic?
Stay Focused. Pay Attention To Detail. Work With Integrity. Recognise Opportunity. He Used To Say There Were Three Types of People In This World:T hose That Make Things Happen? Those That Watch Things Happen? And Those Who Say – “What Happened?” For Instance I Got On The Property Ladder In 1984 When It Was Easy To Get A Mortgage, You Did Not Have To Verify Your Income And It Was Less Well Regulated. Ultimately It Led To The Property Crash! But Various People For Various Reasons Didn’t Act on The Opportunity To Invest Before The Crash Happened.
Was Your Father A Businessman?
Yes He Was In His Way. And He Was Just A Smart Guy. Mr Eugent Palmer Was A Farmer Producin’ & Sellin Crops Like Yam, Banana, Cho Cho, Gungo Peas, Oranges In Jamaica. Right Up Into His 80s. And He Did Well For Himself.
No Doubt His Father’s Tenacity In Runnin’ His Own Farm Right Up Into His 80s, In Part Explains Basil’s Tenacity In Travellin’ Far A Field To Countries Like Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria & Ghana To Source Special Products For His Own Business, Health & Culture Store ‘Pempamsie’
So What Drew You To Health & Well Bein’?
There’s A Need. Economics Is About Supply & Need. It’s Universal. It Matters. Your Health Is Your Wealth. When You’re In Hospital (It May Even Be A Private Hospital) How Much You’ve Got In The Bank Does Not Matter. People Need The Right Thing. At The Right Time. At The Right Price. Everybody Wants Health.
What Was Your Journey To Business Success, Your Big Break & Worst Day?
I Didn’t Really Have A Big Break. Dad Was My Inspiration. Then When I Left School I Applied For A Job At A Local Car Parts Dealership And The Owner (Stan West) Took Me Under His Wing. Over The Next Twenty Plus Years He Taught Me About Business. I Started Out As A Trainee Warehouse Assistant And Worked My Way Up Through The Company To Become Regional Manager. At One Stage I Was Responsible For 51 Branches. I Was Earnin’ A Good Livin. A Typical Branch Could Take Over £2m A Year.
“Apart From My Corporate Identity I Also Had An Identity In The Community. It Was Always About Servin’ The Community, History & Pride.”Business & Community Leader Basil Linx
On Filling A Gap In The Market
Born of Corporate Discrimination
June 2021 Issue
How Did You Manage All Those Branches If You Were Based In London?
My Life Was On The Road Reviewin’ Various Sites. Generally Sites Were Doin Well. Percentage Wise I Would Say About 80% of Them. So I Would Manage By Exception And Work On The 20% That Were The Exception And Needed Improvement. Where A Site Was Under Performing I Would Develop, Improve or Terminate Executive Personnel Dependin’ On Their Response To Development or Improvement Plans.
I Had A Good Job, With Good Pay And That Put Me In A Position To Have Resources To Do What I Wanted To Do, Not What I Had To Do.
Apart From My Corporate Identity I Had An Identity In My Community. That Community Identity Grew Very Strong Because I Had A Business Called Ticket Linx. It Provided A Bookin’ Office Service To Black Social Event Organisers Who Could Not Secure Such Commercial Services From Certain Venue Holders Because Black Customers Were Considered A High Commercial Risk. Some Venues Would Insist On Receivin’ Cash Only Payments When Hostin’ Black Events.
[Whilst This Was of Course Outrageous Corporate Discrimination, Linx, Rememberin’ The Advice of His Father, Saw The Gap In The Market & Took The Opportunity To Address It.]
“It Was Almost Like A Hobby Alongside My Day Job. I Contacted Brixton Academy & Said I Wanted To Offer My Services As The Bookin’ Office For Any Such Events. Choice FM Were In Brixton Then So I Contacted Them Too. Plus Jazz FM And Various Community Radio Stations. The Service Worked And The Business Did Well. After 8 Years Based In The Brixton Euro Link Centre A Property Came On The Market And I Moved Up To Brixton Hill Where Pempamsie Has Been Built Up Over The Years Ever Since (1999). The Foot Fall Was Better There.”
“The Success of Ticket Linx Meant That The Corporate Discrimination Eventually Stopped. It Was Always About Servin’ The Community. History And Pride.”
“By 2010 I Had Twenty Plus Years From Bein’ A Teenager To My Forties All Orientated Around Business. The Only Thing I Hadn’t Done Was Move Away From Employment Into Self Employment. After Climbin The Car Dealership Career Ladder To Executive Level I Left Eleven Years After Acquirin’ The First Pempamsie Location. Now We’re A National Chain, With International Horizons.”(pempamsie.com)
What Do You Like Most About Yourself As A Businessman – And Least?
“I Believe Someone Has To Be In Charge In Business. Otherwise You Can’t Get Things Done If There’s A Difference of Opinion And Decisions Have To Be Made. I’m Not Afraid To Be The Guy That Shows Good Leadership.”
“I’ve Been Doin This A Long Time, And Now I’m In A Position To Inspire And Empower Others. Challengin’ Members of My Team And Watchin Them Grow Is One of My Greatest Rewards. I Know That Black People Can Cooperate With Each Other To Create Business Success, Independence And Leaders of The Future.”
“I’ve Been Told I Drive A Hard Bargain, But I Drive A Fair Bargain.”
“I Know Within Ten Minutes of Talkin’ To Someone Whether or Not I Should Do Business With Them. I Have In Depth Experience In All Areas of Business. Accounts, Procurement, Marketin’, Operations, Sales & Business Development For Instance. Often People Approach Me To Do Business And They Have Not Developed Enough Knowledge About Their Own Business Model, Includin Costs, Margins, Product Knowledge, Market Conditions, Cash Flow & Risk. When This Happens My Experience Won’t Allow Me To Get Involved. They May Have A Lot of Enthusiasum But They Simply Haven’t Paid Enough Attention To Detail.”
“In My View Good Business Is About Sustainability. Not Only For Myself, But Also My Customers & My Supply Chain. I’m An Intense Guy. I’m Passionate About Business And Creatin’ Wealth.”
I Understand You Operate A Partnership Model. How Does That Work?
“My Model For Makin’ My Business Sustainable Is Based On Identifyin’ Talent And Potential And Developin’ It. Workin With People Younger Than Me, Seein’ Their Commitment And Desire To Engage In The Business And Then Givin Them An Opportunity To Become Stakerholders. It’s Not Just About Me Bein’ Benevolent To Them. It’s About Leveraging Them For Our Mutual Benefit And Creatin’ Leaders of The Future. I Want To Create Opportunities For People.”
What Keeps You Motivated?
“I’m Self-Motivated. I Jump Out of Bed Thinkin’ Everyday Is An Opportunity. Because of That I Don’t Have To Build Myself Up. I Have A Full Pipeline of Opportunities Waitin’ To Be Developed.”
And How Do You Look After Your Own Well Being?
“I’ve Been A Vegetarian For Most of My Life, I Work Out Four To Five Times A Week, I Follow A Regime Which Includes Cleansin’ And Fastin.’ I Enjoyin Readin. And Spendin Time With My Family.”
Photo Gallery: 1. Business Basil 2. Leisure Time Basil 3. The Ghanian Pempamsie Symbol 4. Tickets Symbolic of Basil’s Pioneerin’ Business ‘Ticket Linx’ Which Facilitated Black Event Organisers With Credit Facilities When When Much of Corporate Britain Denied Them Such Services And Considered Them Too High Risk 5. Vel Treatment Rooms 6. Beautiful Black Dolls By Nana Sold At Pempamsie 7. Listenin’ Basil 8. Credit Cards Symbolic of Basil’s Pioneerin’ Business ‘Ticket Linx’ Which Facilitated Black Event Organisers With Credit Card Facilities When When Much of Corporate Britain Denied Them Such Services And Considered Them Too High Risk 9. Frendship Basil – Basil With Akala (Poet & Social Commentator) One of His Many Celebrity Friends 10. B For Basil. B For Bit Coin. B For Beautiful 11. Baby Basil 12. Good Drink 13. Good Food 14. Beautiful Black Dolls By Nana Sold At Pempamsie 15. The Flag of Ghana 16. The Adinkra Symbols & Culture Dictionary 17. The Eat of Eden Logo. Owned By Basil There Is One In Brixton, Clapham, Croydon, Lewisham & More – And Soon To Be Also In West Africa Too (pempamsie.com).
George Floyd, The BBC And The Police
[Just As We Are Finishin’ Our Interview (Friday June 25 2021) US News Comes In That The Police Officer Who Murdered George Floyd Has Been Sentenced To 22.5 Years In Prison.
Last Year, During The Height of The BLM Protests Callin For Social Justice Reform The BBC Interviewed Linx As The Boss of A Black Business. They Wanted To See If Increased Racial Awareness Had Translated Into Increased Interest In Black Enterprise.
It Seemed Fittin Therefore That I Now Ask Him About His Experiences With The Police As The Disgraced Officer At The Heart of It Is Finally Sentenced.]
“There’s A Place In Society For Police. If A Serious Crime Is Committed We Have Little Choice But To Call The Police. However Most People Have Bias And Then When You Put Some People In A Uniform It Can Give Them An Inflated Sense of Power. I’ve Had My Experiences With The Police. I’ve Been Stopped, Arrested, And Put In The System.”
“If The Police Are Respectful To Me I Am Respectful To Them. If They Are Disrespectful I Will Stand My Ground. Although, I Don’t Regularly Engage With The Police.”
“Sometimes All Too Often When We Should And Could Be Helpin Ourselves We Look Elsewhere. Rather Than Lookin’ Outside My Community I’d Rather Look Inwards. At The Point That We Decide To Embrace Our Responsibility As Leaders In Our Community, By Challengin’ Ourselves, Supportin’ Others, Becomin’ Independent, Mentorin’ Others, Settin Examples For Our Children, We Become Unstoppable.”
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