'They had to start from scratch': How the Windrush generation's entrepreneurial spirit thrived

ITV Central Business Correspondent Mark Gough looks at how businesses set up by the Windrush Generation are going from strength to strength

Herman Drummond came to the UK from Jamaica when he was a young man.

He followed the path of many before and after him as part of the Windrush Generation -answering the call from the UK to help rebuild the nation, and seeking to make a life for himself too.

The story of the Windrush workers is well known, getting jobs in factories, on the buses and on building sites. The story of the prejudice these people endured is well-known too.

But it was that prejudice in part which led Herman Drummond to become his own boss. With William Lamond he set up the Sunrise Bakery - now based in Smethwick in the West Midlands.

Yes they were escaping prejudice, but they were entrepreneurial too - and were fulfilling a need of the Caribbean community who’d come to the UK, decided to stay, and wanted food which they knew from the Caribbean.

Herman’s son Errol runs the business today which has grown to be the biggest Caribbean food producers in the UK. You can find their products in the big four supermarkets - and they provide employment - long term employment. Some employees have been with them decades.

It’s a legacy of an economic migrant who had the courage to leave his home and family, come to the UK, endure adversity and uncertainty and who ultimately flourished - providing jobs for others too. As Herman’s son, Errol said, his father’s generation was one that just got on and did things.

Monica Cudjoe came to the UK when she was a teenager. She was born in Carriacou, one of the Grenedan islands. She too answered the call to help rebuild the UK. She rebuilt the health of the people of the UK being a nurse and midwife for almost 40 years.

When she retired she needed something to do. For years she’d made sauces and jams, calling on the recipes and the ingredients of Carriacou and the wider Caribbean. Retirement gave her the opportunity to turn her kitchen worktop business into a commercial going concern.

And with her daughter Lee, they produce sauces and rubs under the brand name Tan Rosie - Tan is an affectionate term for Auntie in the Caribbean - and Rosie was her grandmother.

They too are providing valuable jobs in Birmingham. Even in retirement, Monica is still rebuilding and supporting the UK.