The Early Years

The ICD Group became a household name in Jamaica as a result of the vision, passion and innovation of the founders, the seven sons and four daughters of Joseph & Florizel Matalon.

As young adults the Matalon children pooled their resources and energy following the counsel of their father Joseph Matalon, an immigrant from Damascus, Syria. Aaron often related a story that his Father told him one evening when he was playing cards. At the end of an unsuccessful game of solitaire he folded the cards together and asked Aaron if he could tear the pack. Aaron replied that he did not think he had the strength to do so but his Father picked up each card and tore it in half, explaining it was not difficult. He then gave Aaron a life lesson which had a profound impact on all the Matalons; advising Aaron that he and his siblings should stick together, as the strength found in that unity was like the pack of cards. They may be weak as individual cards but united, they would have the strength of the entire pack.

During World War II with three of his older Matalon brothers having enlisted, Mayer Matalon established a tyre retreading business. The venture was a great success as there were rations on motor vehicles and supplies, and retreaded tyres were in high demand. Innovation became a cornerstone value of the family, reflected throughout the development of the businesses over their history.

At the end of the war Isaac (Zaccie) back from the army, Moses from the navy and Eli from the air force along with Pauline the eldest daughter and her husband Jack Goodman. The group pooled their meagre resources and set up Commodity Service Company Limited at Orange Street in downtown Kingston in a rented premises where they distributed pharmaceuticals and expanded within a short time to include a wide range of products. Upon his return from the air force Eli took over the running of a factory that specialised in manufacturing a wide range of products including cocoa powder and cocoa butter. The business was owned by an Englishman who was anxious to return to England and the family eventually bought the operations from the owner, streamlined production, and concentrated on cocoa products only. The company grew to be a dominant force in the manufacture and distribution of cocoa products in Jamaica for many years.


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