From Quick Plate to Quick Cart: Monique Powell remains steadfast

Debra Edwards
Debra Edwards

January 24, 2022

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When asked who Monique Powell the woman is, the Quick Cart chief executive officer seems caught off guard by the question. She sits back in her chair, and with a laugh, says she has to think about it. Why? She is well aware of who she is, but there is Powell at home, and among friends; then there is Powell the businesswoman, and in the last few years, the latter has taken precedence.

In-between meetings, the busy Kingstonian is making time for our interview at a location on Montego Bay’s famed Hip Strip, where she is expanding the Quick Cart offerings in the Second City.

Ready to answer the previously posed question, she describes herself as “somebody who is tenacious and enjoys building things and putting pieces together”. It’s no surprise then that this lover of technology would create Quick Plate, a food delivery service, almost six years ago that has now evolved into Quick Cart.

‘I would love to see more women getting tech start-ups going. I would love to see more women in that space, and I think it will have a ripple effect, because when these young women and young girls can see someone else that is doing it, even more of them will be inclined to feel that they can do that, too.’

When Quick Plate started, the company was focused on food delivery. Realising that individuals wanted the same convenience that they had grown accustomed to with prepared meals, for other items such as groceries, Quick Cart was formed to afford their clientèle easy access to other things as well. The COVID-19 crisis accelerated the demand. So, Powell reasoned, why not bring additional value to the existing customers by allowing them to order other items in the same way they were able to purchase food from the service they had grown to love?

“I’ve always been entrepreneur-minded,” she says as she reminisces of a time as a teenager when she would bring computer parts in from the United States and sell them for profit. She would also go to businesses and sell her graphic design services before she started her career in the corporate arena.

As an only child, she says she has always been close to her parents and considers herself a well-rounded individual. Yet, even though she can be introverted and quiet at times, wearing the business hat often gets her out of her shell, and she will use social media to express herself when needs be.

MORE WOMEN NEEDED IN TECH

She is an inspiration to many, so when asked about her hopes for Jamaican women at the start of 2022, she notes that women have done an excellent job of ascending to senior positions in companies. Then she adds, “I would love to see more women getting tech start-ups going. I would love to see more women in that space, and I think it will have a ripple effect, because when these young women and young girls can see someone else that is doing it, even more of them will be inclined to feel that they can do that, too.”

Monique Powel, chief executive officer of Quick Cart, describes herself as ‘somebody who is tenacious and enjoys building things and putting pieces together’.

Observing that there is a lot of untapped potential in Jamaica, Powell says, “We can expand our vision of what is possible in tech.” She is proof of what is possible if one puts their mind to the desired goal and works hard towards it. With her business set to celebrate its sixth anniversary in March, she remembers the early days of Quick Plate, when she was not afraid to hop on a motorcycle and do deliveries if the need arose. “There were orders in the queue that had to get done, and sometimes you just got to do what you have to do,” she says.

She wants Quick Cart to “be an example of what greatness can emerge out of Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, so I’m hoping that we will continue to excel in terms of customer service and innovation”.

As we close, Powell admits that it hasn’t been easy to get her company off the ground and thrive throughout the years, but she is determined to continue pushing forward. She remains positive because she believes in what the future has in store.

debra.edwards@gleanerjm.com

Debra Edwards

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Debra Edwards

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