CEO: All Eyes On Honey Bun After Going Public

Chief Executive Officer- Michelle Chong
Chief Executive Officer- Michelle Chong

HONEY Bun’s has had to fend off intensified competition and take on a number of management shake-ups since going public last year.

“We actually had four resignations within the first five months,” said the company’s CEO Michelle Chong at a Women Business Owners of Jamaica Ltd. (WBO) event held in New Kingston last week.

“Persons tended to do a self-evaluation of their performance, and tended to know whether they were going to be able to step up to the challenge, or if it would be too much for them to bear,” she said. “One of the difficulties was to find replacements while our shareholders were expecting immediate results.”

The response from competition in the baked goods market was also a challenge to Honey Bun after going public. 

“Large competitors began seeing the company as a significant threat and stepped up their competition immediately,” said Chong. “Some price cut, while others made ‘me-too’ products to take market share.”

Chong also spoke to growing public costs that accompanied the process of listing, including director’s fees, internal audits, and insurance to cover possible risks. The company had to take more steps to cut expenses, said the CEO.

“Many expenses, which the private company could write off as company expenses were quickly abolished,” she said. “The board, with management, reviewed each line item of expense to find ways to cut costs to increase the bottom line.”

Honey Bun listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Junior Market a little over a year ago, with their initial public offering being over-subscribed four times the targeted amount of $50.8 million.


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