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Their meeting was simple enough. One morning, two youngsters came upon each other in the offices of West Indies Mineral and Table Water Company in Kingston Jamaica. "My name is Thomas Hargreaves Geddes," said the newcomer. The other smiled. "Glad to make your acquaintance! I've been here a bit. I'm Eugene Desnoes." And so, for the first time, Desnoes and Geddes shook hands. Neither of them could have imagined that this would mark the beginning of an extraordinary partnership. A partnership that has lasted 82 years, and has given the world the many flavours of D&G Sodas and the great Jamaican Red Stripe Beer.

 

Years later they each began their own soda companies and in 1918, they joined forces to form Desnoes and Geddes Company Limited. The company became well-established in making popular sodas and distributed the best imported liquors. But Desnoes and Geddes also shared what seemed then to be an impossible dream: to build a brewery to produce a Jamaican beer of international quality. It would be more than a decade before that dream would be a reality. Over the years the business remained a family affair and the baton was passed on to Peter Desnoes and Paul Geddes. Like their fathers before them, Peter and Paul had big dreams. They envisioned a new, ultra-modern plant and they decided to gamble everything-selling some property and using deeds of others as loan securities-to buy land and begin construction of a plant which was to be the marvel of Jamaica. The old Surrey Brewery on Pechon Street was phased out in 1958 when the ultra-modern plant at Hunt's Bay went into operation. This was the most modern brewery in the Caribbean and with its capacity the horizons of Desnoes & Geddes widened considerably.

 

The next 30 years constituted an era of significant expansion for the company. Along with Red Stripe, the company had a remarkable portfolio of products including international favourites like Pepsi-Cola and 7-Up, as well as D&G Sof Drinks, Jamaica's best-loved sodas. Other major brands include: Heineken, Dragon Stout, Guinness Stout, McEwans.That early morning handshake between Desnoes and Geddes has resulted in a legacy of innovation and excellence and is a statement of the remarkable spirit of Jamaicans.

 

Desnoes & Geddes became a public company in 1970, and the company remained under the control of the Desnoes and Geddes families until 1993 when controlling interests were acquired by Guinness Brewing Worldwide (GBW).Guinness assumed management of the company and later sold the soft drinks division to Pepsi Americas in December of 1999. Pepsi Americas make, sell and deliver a broad portfolio of Pepsi-Cola core brands, Cadbury beverages and other national and regional brands in 18 U.S. locations as well as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia. In total, the company serves a population of more than 117 million people.

The D&G Story
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