Jamaica celebrates 50th anniversary: The enterprising Mr. Roper

Raglan Roper had just $100 in his pocket when he set up his business 30 years ago. He went out and purchased himself a second-hand bicycle for $30 and spent the remainder at AL Thompson on a bucket, a squeegie and a damaged ladder. From there he set himself up cleaning storefront windows.  

He signed his first contract with First Caribbean Bank, which remains a client to this day.  

From there he expanded into supplying the cleaning chemicals he used. Over the ensuing three decades Mr. Roper has built up Ropers Enterprises into a multi-faceted business, offering janitorial services, hotel and restaurant supplies, equipment rental for events and a retail store.  

Once the cleaning business was up and running smoothly, Mr Roper turned his attention to this true passion: Cigars. He recalls how he and a group of friends used to go to the Beach Club to smoke their cigars. He already held a liquor licence so when a property became available along West Bay Road he took it on and created the first Havana Club, a cigar bar, serving Cuban food. It was an overnight success, he says.  

Since then a smaller second Havana Club has opened in the West Shore Plaza and more recently, Mr. Roper opened a Havana Club in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Next, he plans to turn the concept into a franchise and hopes to see the first Havana Club open in the US.  

Mr. Roper was just a young boy when he first visited the Cayman Islands with the Boy Scouts.  

After his grandmother, with whom he lived in Jamaica passed away, a Caymanian family had come to know well asked him if he would like to live with them and become their adoptive son. He has been here ever since. 

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