She baked her first creole bread when she was 9. At the time Ursula Ferguson, 39, was living in Maypen with her grandmother, Jenny Reyes, 84, who taught her to cook and bake. It was a learning experience that has paid off because today she is able to make a living baking wheat journey cakes, making wheat fry jacks and cooking stew chicken and grind steak. They are some of the ingredients she uses in the breakfast she sells every morning at her residence, located at #125 Cemetery Road in Belize City. Those customers who are not interested in meat can have their fry jacks and journey cakes with egg, cheese and beans. She also makes freshly squeezed orange and watermelon juice. In addition to that she makes hot coffee and Ovaltine to go along with the food.
She is up every morning at 2:00am to prepare the food for the day. At 6:00a.m. she is ready to serve breakfast. By 10:30 a.m. everything has sold out.
“Business is good but it can be better because half of the customers I had when I was selling at Battlefield Park don’t know where to find me”, she said. Battlefield Park was not the first place Ursula made and sold breakfast. She started her business 9 years ago at the Paslow Building parking lot opposite the Water Taxi Terminal located on North Front Street. She was there for 1 year before she had to move because of the Belize City Council. She was moved again by the Belize City Council after she was at Battlefield Park for about 3 years.
When asked what made her decide to go into the food business, she replied: “I love cooking”.
Ursula migrated from Maypen to Belize City at the age of 17. She did not get much of a formal education but it was enough to enable her to read and write. Before she started the food business she was doing babysitting. But that was not enough to take care of her and her family and without help from any lending institution she embarked on her business career. “Sometimes the work is so hard I get the feeling to quit but I keep on working because I like to be independent,” she explained.
Ursula works from Monday to Friday. She does not work on Saturdays because she is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The business still operates on Saturdays, though, except the cook then is her common-law husband, Terry Garnett.
Ursula is the mother of 2 children, Yassir, 21 and Nicoli, 17.
The Belize Times