At a young age, Juan Reyes, migrated from the Dominican Republic and like most immigrant families, his parents left their homeland for a better future for their three offspring.
It is his parents, who worked so hard who serve as an inspiration for Reyes to do the same.
“Today as a father of four,” he says, “I am passionate about my work and the communities I work with. I hope to show my children, that hard work and determination is the key to success.”
Reyes started as a merchandiser in the beer and beverage industry at the age of 20. Very shortly after, he was promoted to sales representative, and soon after he became a supervisor for five years.
Now, and for the past 10 years he has been the sales director for Riviera Imports, working with many products — beer, wine and spirits from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Reyes explains that when Red Stripe moved its export business from Jamaica to the U.S., Riviera Imports went in to help create a beverage product for export, which became DG White Overproof Rum. This product is distributed in key Caribbean markets across the U.S.
“In this way we are contributing to the Jamaican economy and saved a number of jobs,” he says. Riviera Imports also distributes Jamaican export Dragon Stout.
For 10 years, Riviera Imports has been greatly involved in carnival in New York. Reyes says, “I am proud to be in a position to help sponsor festivities, which are so integral in the Caribbean tradition.”
“It takes a lot of money to run the Caribbean Day parade. We help with product and help support some mas camps,” he adds. “We also helped the Caribbean Association in Dade County, Florida, this year.”
Next year Rivera Imports plans to help Caribbean Associations for their carnivals in Houston, Connecticut, Boston and Miami and Juan looks forward to making stronger linkages and sponsoring carnivals nationwide.
Support goes also to other community activities like events with Una Clark. Last August, Riviera Imports helped sponsor Charlie Records – the largest Calypso producer – at the Fulton Street Festival.
“The Caribbean community is so hardworking,” Reyes says. “We come here with a goal and a dream to provide for our families. Riviera Imports wants to help support other grassroots, social and civic activities. In all our endeavors, we want to help the residents of the community.”