Born on September 10th, 1977, in the quiet village of San Antonio in the Cayo District, Jeremiah grew up along sister, Dora, and parents Olga and Florencio Tzib in their ranch home. He recalls fondly running around the fields, enjoying hunting and climbing the various fruit trees along their property.
Jerry, as he is fondly known, attended San Antonio Primary School and remembers that the schooling at the village was not all up to par. “It was a small village and in the early 80’s education was more laid back than what it is now or the standards that they now possess,” he explains. When Jerry was nine-years-old, his mother got a great opportunity to work in San Pedro Town as a housekeeper. Although it was a very tough decision, she packed her bags and moved to the island. “My dad, sister and I stayed in San Antonio. Six months later my dad moved to the island and my sister and I lived with my grandmother in the village. It was a very difficult time for us. We missed our parents greatly but we also knew that they came to San Pedro for a better life, they came to the island with a purpose,” he comments.
In 1988, Jerry graduated from San Antonio Primary School and that was when he and his sister Dora joined their parents in San Pedro Town. He enrolled at San Pedro High School, where he was the shyest student in the class. “Coming from San Antonio, it was a very big shock to live in San Pedro. It was a completely different environment. San Pedro is not a place for the shy and I found out very quickly that I needed to get out of my shell. It took a while but I eventually did. See San Pedro also has friendly people who make that easy for you,” he explained. In high school, Jerry pursued the Academics Curriculum which was based on the Sciences; Biology and Chemistry. His aspiration was to become a doctor. Unfortunately, because of financial constraints it was not possible.
While attending San Pedro High School, Jerry’s father opened a small store next to their home. Named Richie’s, the family store carried the basic food items, flour, rice, and some canned products. Jerry, of course, would help his parents in every way he could at the store, whether it be stocking, pricing or carrying out an inventory.
Graduating San Pedro High School in 1996, Jerry went to work at Rock’s Shopping Center as a cashier. It was a post he held for the following two years; a post where he was promoted and soon enough became assistant manager. While at work one night, a beautiful customer walked in. Jerry instantly fell in love, tended to her and she walked out of the store without him even asking her name. He hoped to see her again but that was not to happen anytime soon.
Jerry applied and got a post as a waiter at Rasta Pasta Rainforest Café which was located at the SunBreeze Hotel. After a couple of months, and with much help from Zobeida Ayuso, Jerry became one of the restaurant’s bartenders. “I enjoyed my job, getting to meet different people was excellent. I loved making the Piña Coladas. It was my favorite drink to make,” he exclaims. Rasta Pasta was sold and Jerry worked for the new owners as a waiter. Caruso, one of the island’s best Italian restaurants, was a great learning experience for Jerry. One night, while going home after work, he met the young lady he had met while working at Rock’s Shopping Center. This time he would not let her get away. He offered her a ride home and asked her for a date. The two started dating.
Jerry decided to venture out on his own and after leaving Caruso opened his own store. Richie’s 2 proved to be quite successful and Jerry immediately saw the demand and knew he soon would have to expand. He also started venturing in the real estate realm, and that year bought a piece of property adjacent to Banyan Bay Villas. A year later he sold it, after he was made an offer too good to refuse. With the profit that he made from that sale he was able to buy the piece of land where Richie’s now stands.
On July 14th, 2001, Jenny Cal and Jerry tied the knot at a lovely wedding. Two years later they welcomed the birth of their beautiful daughter Hilary Kayra Tzib.
After six months of construction, Richie’s Supermarket finally opened in 2002. “It was a great excitement but it has also proved to be a lot more challenging than what I had first thought. Owning a store, as any business, is not very easy. It requires a lot of time and dedication. But, it is also what has brought me success. This is what my mother molded me into. This is what she wanted for my family.” Where Richie’s 2 once stood, Jenny opened a small boutique called Paradise Fashions; a small clothing store which also holds souvenirs, shoes, handbags and accessories.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck when in 2004 when Jerry’s mother fell ill. “It was a very difficult time; very hard on us emotionally. She had always been our rock, it was not easy,” he says. Mrs. Olga Tzib passed away in June of that year.
Now in 2006, Jerry attributes his success to his mother’s hard work and dedication. “She always taught us to work very hard,” he states proudly. In the near future, Richie’s will see yet another expansion. The store will grow to allow for more shopping space and a few surprises. “It is in the works and will happen in the near future,” he explains about his plans.
In his free time, Jerry enjoys spending time with his family, kayaking and going to church. “I have fallen in love with San Pedro, this is now my home and I will not go anywhere else.”
Richie’s Supermarket opens daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Jerry attributes dedication to part of his success. “If you work hard for what you want, you’ll get it. The young people need not be afraid to invest. If you have a positive goal, you’ll be successful. Negative thoughts will bring you down, so always think positive,” he ends.
Because of his hard work, dedication, always thinking positively, and love for his family and community, Jerry Tzib has found success in “Our Community.”