On October 13, 1921 when Joseph Nathaniel Goddard, in partnership with his son, Victor, decided to open his meat and grocery store on a side street in Bridgetown, he probably would never have envisaged that his small business would be in existence in the twenty first century or that it would have become the successful multi-national conglomerate that it is today. He certainly would not recognise the business today. The Goddard companies now span over 23 countries in the Caribbean, Central, North and South America and while they continue to be involved in the more traditional areas of retailing and wholesaling, they also operate in the relatively new areas of airline catering, export manufacturing and financial services.
Just three years after opening the business, the Ice House Building on Broad Street came on the market, and Mr. Goddard purchased it on October 13, 1924. This enlarged Goddard’s food operation in the Ice House Building, brought innovation to the local retailing sector as it was the first refrigerated cold storage meat store in Bridgetown. It was later converted into a supermarket business, with a branch being opened at Fontabelle in 1962. The Rendezvous Supermarket was subsequently acquired in 1964.
Diversification has been the key to the Goddard group’s success, and while the supermarket retail business continued to be its primary business for many years, the company also grew through the acquisition of existing businesses. The first acquisition, in 1939, was in the bakery industry which ultimately led to outright ownership of Purity Bakery, the market leader in Barbados.
In 1943, Goddard’s ventured into the department store retailing and the hotel business, the latter leading to the development of airline catering services. Continuing diversification and entrepreneurial development decade after decade built the corporation into the strong position it enjoys today where it now operates over 50 companies across some 23 countries stretching from the USA in the north to Uruguay in the south.