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. 

Havana Club Jam 10

Havana Club

Havana Club Jam 13

Havana Club