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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 31 Jul 2014
THE LIFE OF MR. REID-ROSS

WHO IS MR REID-ROSS?
 
I am a highly motivated and driven 60 year old Libran. I am married to Carien, and have been for 33 years – and I have 2 beautiful children, Nikki (27) and Jonathan (25). I am truly blessed that Nikki and her husband Peter (my business partner), moved to Mauritius with us 2 years ago. Nikki is now perfectly pregnant so I will become a grandfather for the first time in October! My son is in advertising and lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa

WHERE DO YOU HAIL FROM?
 
I grew up in Port Elizabeth, a sleepy coastal city in South Africa where I attended Grey High School – I excelled at sport at school and as a result I was awarded a Sports Bursary to Stellenbosch University, where I read Law. I graduated with a BA(Law) LLB in 1978. My sporting career continued to blossom and I went on to play first class cricket and international hockey for South Africa

WHERE DID YOUR EDUCATION TAKE YOU CAREER WISE?
 
After practising law for a few years, I decided to start my own business in the Film and Television Industry where we produced movies and primetime television for the local broadcasters. My company was eventually acquired by the global media giant, Bertelsmann and we became part of  the international group called  FremantleMedia, producers of Idols, Apprentice, Master Chef, Family Feud, Baywatch, etc. We then went on to become one of South Africa’s biggest content providers.

I sold my interest in the business in 2012 when I decided to relocate to Mauritius, start a family business and open a chain of vida e caffe espresso bars

DO YOU WANT TO SHARE SOME CHILDHOOD ANECDOTES WITH US?
 
I had a very happy and settled childhood in a loving family in South Africa – and still today, I have a close bond with my brother who lives in Pretoria, and remains my best friend. I have many fond childhood memories from my schooldays - as I mentioned, I
played a lot of sports and I acted in a number of major plays as I loved the stage. However the most memorable and defining memory of them all occurred at the age of 17 when I was in my final year at school - I took Carien (who was then 15) to a school dance in 1971, and the rest is history – we got married 10 years later! I spotted Carien at an inter-schools athletics meeting where I was representing my
school in the 800 metres final – she was this beautiful young cheerleader from one of the opposing schools. So I had to arrange to meet her through a mutual friend.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS MADE YOU WHO YOU ARE?
 
I think that the most important influence in my life (other than the solid and disciplined upbringing I got from my parents) was travel - travel shaped me, broadened my horizons, honed my interpersonal skills and got me dreaming – I was always lucky that through sports from a young age and later business, I was able to travel extensively. By playing international sports and being part of an international television conglomerate with offices worldwide, I was always on the go and travelled a lot in Europe, USA, Australia and the East. I met a lot of interesting people and rubbed shoulders with household names and international celebrities like Sir Ian Botham (cricket), George Best (football), actress Pamela Anderson (Baywatch),
Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean), Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), George Harrison (Beatles), as well as billionaires Sir Richard Branson and Donald Trump

THE LIST OF CELEBRITIES YOU HAVE MET IS IMPRESSIVE! SO LIFE IS COFFEE FOR YOU? AND YOU ARE SHARING THIS PASSION WITH US? 
 
We have a family business called The Life and Coffee Company Ltd and we trade as vida e caffe Mauritius - my son-in-law Peter is my partner, co-director and co-shareholder. To date we have opened 4 vida espresso bars at Bagatelle, 2 in the north at Grand Baie La Croisette and Grand Baie Business Quarter, and in the west in Black  River at London Way. We are also  exploring other opportunities to grow
our brand in Mauritius and the Indian Ocean Islands

AS AN END NOTE, WHY MAURITIUS? 
 
Mauritius ticks all the boxes for me as a destination to live, work and play - I love living on an exotic paradise island, but I also enjoy the busy vibe and energy of the business environment and I am proud of our young Mauritian “partners” who are helping to grow our brand here with commitment  and style, as well as grow and improve themselves at the same time.  I enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the
people of Mauritius and the feeling  of peace, safety and security on the 
island

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