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.
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At the end of the war the siblings came together to create the foundation family business. Initially it was Mayer, 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 joined forces and started Commodity Service Company Limited with virtually no capital and little access to credit. Nevertheless they set up their operations 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. In addition to this, Eli took over the management 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.
What they lacked in capital and experience at the beginning of their venture, they made up for in intelligence, passion and team work. Within a few years, Aaron brought Matalon and Company into CSCo as a subsidiary. By 1954 the company had outgrown their Orange Street premises and a building at the corner of Harbour Street and Fleet street was purchased to house the operations.
It was realised that the rapid expansion of CSCo through the development of new entrepreneurial opportunities would put a strain on the human and financial resources of the company. The decision was made to cease all new activity for CSCo and instead have them done under the banner of the newly formed Industrial Commercial Development (ICD) Group of Companies, which was floated on the fledgling Jamaica Stock Exchange in 1962.
Within fifteen (15) years ICD had become a dominant force in the Jamaican economy and the name was well known throughout the country and beyond.
ICD Head Office, 7-9 Harbour Street,