There was never any doubt in Kevin Warner’s mind that if the opportunity to get involved in the 35th America’s Cup came about that he was going to grab it with both hands.
The owner of Bermuda business Sweet Stixx, Mr Warner has always been one to seize the day and when the island won the right to host the event he knew he “wanted to be one of those people” that made the most of a unique opportunity.
Now he has after his business was named as one of the unique food vendors selected to operate within the America’s Cup Village for the 35th America’s Cup, which runs from May 26 to June 27.
After learning about the variety of opportunities available to local business owners at one of the America’s Cup Bermuda Local Business Opportunity information sessions, Mr Warner saw a chance to increase the profile of his business at home and abroad.
“Over the past few years, a lot of hard work has gone into developing the Sweet Stixx brand and building a good reputation within the community,” he said.
“Participating in AC35 is an extension of that drive and an opportunity to rise to the occasion of a large-scale event.
“I believe this event will have a positive impact on the business, as we gain international exposure and local brand recognition. In addition, it also allows me to hire and train more young Bermudians, which is very important to me personally.”
Ultimately Mr Warner believes that the Cup will benefit the island in general and boost the economy in ways not yet felt. He points to the increased entrepreneurship as one such example.
“I believe the Cup can be a catalyst for economic stimulation,” he said. “For example, entrepreneurship is fostered in environments where there are unmet consumer needs. I believe the Cup has created such an environment, allowing enterprising individuals to create businesses to provide services and products that can be sustained long after the event is over.”
It is because of this that he is encouraging others to show their ambition, and make the most of the opportunity to showcase the best of Bermuda to the rest of the world; who will be watching in their millions over the course of several action-packed weeks.
“We may be small, but Bermuda is capable of competing with any jurisdiction,” he said. “Enhancing our reputation as a business and tourist destination will benefit us all. Collectively, we should all do our part to make AC35 a success.
“Hosting the America’s Cup in a locale like Bermuda is uncharted territory for the event and ambitious of the island.
“We at Sweet Stixx embody that same trailblazing spirit and we look forward to providing unparalleled service in the America’s Cup Village.”
As might be expected Mr Warner has received plenty of support from family and friends, while the other members of the Sweet Stixx team are “thrilled and cannot wait to share this unique experience with visitors and locals alike”.
Mr Warner added: “I would like to thank the entire team, friends, family, business relations and anyone else that has made Sweet Stixx possible. In particular, a special thanks to my mother.”
While the fried-dough pastry treats that are Sweet Stixx’s hallmark have become well-known around Bermuda, Mr Warner still plans a surprise or two for what will be on offer in the America’s Cup Village.
He’s not giving anything away as to what that might entail though.
“I don’t want to spoil the surprise,” he said. “You are going to have to visit us in the America’s Cup Village, where you can ‘Come and Taste the Fun’.”