Founder Louis Jay (L.J.) Williams is born in San Fernando, Trinidad
Louis Jay Williams starts “Louis Jay Williams and Company – Commission Agent and Merchant.” The company was located at 14, Charlotte Street, Port of Spain. He started off with a few hundred tonnes of Siam rice imported from London.
In 1927, Louis Jay Williams went to England in search of new products and the first of the large contracts to come his way was that of Green Pastures butter. At a time when Trinidadians were accustomed to the red salty butter imported from Europe, he launched an advertising campaign which was virtually unheard of at the time. This included essay competitions on the wonders of Green Pastures butter coupled with college exhibitions in the name of Green Pastures butter. Before long, the brand became a household name.
Several new brands were launched after that with a strong focus on Marketing each time.
Private liability company, L.J. Williams Marketing Co. Ltd is formed to acquire Louis Jay Williams and Company
During World War II, the Americans established a base in Trinidad in 1941. L.J. Williams capitalized on this and started the importation of products tailored to the new American niche market for example, Schlitz Beer from the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was introduced.
The ongoing War resulted in food shortages in the U.S. As a result, L.J. Williams looked towards Australia for potential suppliers since it was one of the few places where food was still available for export. In 1946, the Company brought in its first shipment of goods from Australia to the Trinidad market.
This was no small feat. Several shipping lines told him it was impossible until the American PioneerLine told him once he met the requirement of a full container, they will ship to Trinidad from Australia. Louis J. Williams did just that and in 1946, the first shipload of goods from Australia to reach these shores landed in Trinidad.
His sight was then turned to Japan and it was not long before he negotiated with NYK, Japan’s largest shipping line and trade between Japan and Trinidad was established.
Louis Jay Williams established the Trinidadian local operations of American International Group (AIG) known as American Life and General Insurance Company (ALGICO) with his son Ronald Jay Williams.
Tunnock’s Caramel Biscuits out of Glasgow, Scotland were introduced.
The Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer, a bar consisting of five layers of wafer, separated by four layers of caramel and covered in chocolate has remained a local favourite to date.
On August 27th 1962, a public limited liability company called L. J. Williams Marketing Company Limited was formed to take over the private limited liability company.
In 1964, L.J. Williams Limited started manufacturing Chief Floor Polish under licence from Kiwi International, Australia.
By aligning itself with the Mars International chocolate company in 1965 L.J. Williams Ltd., ensured that it had a firm footprint in the local confectionery landscape with world-leading brands such as M&Ms®, Snickers® and Twix®.
The portfolio of brands continue to excite local consumers with world-class products delivered with market-leading route-to-market systems.
Ronald J. Williams became Managing Director of
L.J. Williams Limited in 1966.
After completing his studies in Canada, Williams returned to Trinidad where he began his career working for his father at L.J. Williams Ltd. From 1952 to 1966, he was the Manager of American Life Insurance Company and a director at
L.J. Williams Ltd. In 1966, he assumed full control of the family company and became Managing Director of L.J. Williams Ltd. During this time, Williams also became deeply involved in politics at a crucial point in Trinidad and Tobago’s transition from colony to independent nation.
He was a Member of Parliament for the West Indies Federation, Senator of Trinidad and Tobago, and Member of Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. From 1981 to 1986, he served as Minister of State Enterprises. Williams also served in a number of different roles on various boards and committees, including as Chairman of the Carnival Development Committee. He is credited with naming Trinidad and Tobago’s annual steelband festival, “Panorama”.
In recognition of his contributions to the nation’s cultural development, he was awarded the Hummingbird Medal Gold in 1971 by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
L.J. Williams Limited issues shares to the public.
Louis Jay Williams, founder of the L.J. Williams Group of companies dies on November 29, 1968 at the age of 71. He had an exemplary business career where he established the L.J. Williams Group of Companies with interests in Food Distribution and Hardware Manufacturing including KwikSet locks and Evo-Stik adhesives.
He was the first Trinidadian businessman to use a local broadcasting station for advertising purposes. He also established the Australia to W.I. Shipping Service and was a supporter of education and the local film industry.
In 1970, the Company started manufacturing the Evo-Stik line of adhesives under licence from Evode Limited of Stafford , England (now called Bostik). This operation was first carried out at a factory at Streatham Lodge, Churchhill Roosevelt Highway until the building was destroyed by fire in 1973.
Evo-Stik is now manufactured at the Macoya Industrial Estate.
The name of the Company was changed to L.J. Williams Limited – the name that still holds today.
L.J. Williams Limited at this time also comprised of two subsidiaries, Movalite Limited, Trinidad and Naco Caribbean Limited, Jamaica. In addition, there were seven main Divisions: Marketing, Insurance, Shipping, Industrial and Building Products, Accounting, Manufacturing and Warehousing.
The Company acquired an acre site on 9 Century Drive, Trincity Industrial Estate, on which a new factory was completed in March 1975 and operations for the manufacturing of Chief Floor polish and Evo-Stik adhesives began in the following month of April. Also in 1975, Chief Polish started being exported to Guyana and Jamaica.
“Aspirations” by Pat Chu Foon
The sculpture, “Aspirations,” currently located at the corner of New and St. Vincent Streets, was commissioned by L. J. Williams Limited in 1976. This is one of several public sculptures created by artist, Pat Chu Foon. The image depicts the family of “Man” aspiring to social and industrial “Universality.” The summit consists of a variety of used automobile parts such as gear wheels, wheel hubs, pressure plates, clutches and crank shafts.
Movalite completes the installation of the window glazing on the Financial Towers Complex in downtown Port-of-Spain.
L.J. Williams Limited completed the acquisition of the Pepsi-Cola franchise.
When one thinks of Premium, high-quality chocolates no other brand comes to mind other than Ferrero Rocher. Since 1995 L. J. Williams Limited through Ferrero Rocher has fuelled the fires of romance with chocolates in a match that is truly made in chocolate heaven. Nutella and Tic Tac are part of this line.
Also in 1995, the McCormick’s line of Herbs and Spices, Seasonings, Dips and Sauces and Essences and Extracts was introduced to the Trinidad and Tobago market.
Twinings Teas out of the UK and Pascual Yogurt out of Spain were introduced.
Twinings is known throughout England and beyond for their inviting, sensuous herbal tea blends and strong English breakfast teas. They have been in the teas business for over 300 years!
Grupo Leche Pascual has earned a solid reputation all over the world as a manufacturer of premium dairy products.
L.J. Williams Limited sold the Pepsi franchise to Pepsi Americas Inc. for US$13.8 million.
The first branch of The Home Store Limited opens its doors in Barataria, Trinidad.
The second Branch of The Home Store Limited opens at C3 Centre in San Fernando, Trinidad in October 2016.
Fini, a fun line of jellies, gummies and sweets was introduced from Spain.
The third Branch of The Home Store Limited opens at Pennywise Plaza, Chaguanas, Trinidad on November 2019.
The fourth Branch of The Home Store Limited opens at The Falls at Westmall, Westmoorings, Trinidad on November 2021.
The fifth Branch of The Home Store Limited opens at East Gates Mall in Trincity, Trinidad in October 2022.