Get Creative In The Kitchen With These Caribbean-Owned Food Brands
SAN JUAN — You don’t need to be a master chef to support Caribbean-owned food brands. For example, Loisa’s seasonings are an easy way to switch up the chicken breast you already know how to cook perfectly. Pisqueya’s hot sauces taste good on literally anything, and Island Love Cakes rum and cognac-infused cakes come ready to eat, no additional dressing up necessary.
Don’t settle for boring meals when there are so many Caribbean-owned food brands that can make things more exciting. Get to know a few of the best below.
Founder: Juan Melendez
About the Brand: For delicious coffee, meet Baldacci Coffee Roasters. It’s a small-batch roasting company that currently offers single-origin coffee beans from Puerto Rico, Ethopia and Peru. The best part is that you have the option to customize your coffee. You can choose between whole bean, espresso, French or drip, depending on the batch.
Founders: Malika and Jamila Augustin
About the Brand: Malika and Jamila Augustin, two sisters from Trinidad and Tobago, founded Callaloo Box in 2017 after moving to New York City, where they spent 12 years in corporate America. The sisters eventually left the concrete jungle for South Florida to pursue their dream of providing Caribbean folks who lived away from their home countries with local products that can be difficult to find. The Caribbean-owned company is an online grocery store and subscription service that features seasonings, condiments, hot sauces and snacks that are all created and sourced in the Caribbean.
They’re packaged in a compact box and delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps for easy convenience. Some of the most popular items are preserved red mango, Chief fried rice seasoning and Matouk’s Mauby Concentrate.
Founder: Stephen Rodriguez
About the Brand: Stephen Rodriguez, better known as Chef Papi, has made a name for himself catering events and private parties with his incredible (often colorful) food creations. Now, he’s branching out with Chef Papi merchandise, plus his very own Chef Papi seasoning that can be used on chicken, beef and seafood.
Founder: Iris Mayra Gracia
About the Brand: If you’ve been feeling tired or sluggish, you need to try Get Up! energy bars and bites by Nutri Snacks Puerto Rico. The Caribbean-owned food brand is owned and operated by Iris Mayra Gracia out of Cataño, Puerto Rico — and everything it makes tastes amazing. The energy bars and bites are all-natural and made with good-for-you ingredients like dried tropical fruits, chocolate, nuts, seeds, honey and more.
Island Love Cakes
About the Brand: If you have a sweet tooth, place your order with Island Love Cakes ASAP. The Caribbean-owned food brand makes seriously tasty treats that are great for special occasions or just for a regular day. Inspired by the alcohol-infused desserts that are popular in the Caribbean, Island Love Cakes’ already-delicious cakes are soaked in cognac or rum to really amp up the flavor. There are currently four flavors to choose from; buy one of each!
Founders: Kenny Luna and Scott Hattis
About the Brand: Ditch Goya’s Sazón and Adobo seasonings and instead reach for Loisa’s better-for-you options. The Latinx-owned spice and seasoning brand was founded by Kenny Luna and Scott Hattis, both with ties to the Caribbean and Latin America. The brand’s mission is to provide “better quality Latin foods made from only real ingredients.” Shop the brand’s best-selling sofrito, adobo and sazón, as well as spices like Spanish saffron and smoked paprika.
Founder: Argentina Flores
About the Brand: Inspired by the juices and herbal remedies her grandmother created when she was growing up, Argentina Flores decided to created Mix’d Roots, a line of yummy alcohol infusions. From a spicy margarita blend to island citrus creations, Flores’ flavor combinations are out of this world.
Founder: Abner Montfleury
About the Brand: As a first-generation Haitian American, Abner Montfleury wanted to diversify the wine-making industry. Duvin searched wine festivals for Black-owned brands but eventually decided to enter the space himself. He founded Montfleur Duvin and now makes the Yvonne white wine (named after his grandmother) from Gewürztraminer grapes.
Founder: Maritza Abreu
About the Brand: Originally a passed-down Dominican family recipe, Pisqueya salsa picante is now a full-blown business run by Maritza Abreu, who is keeping her family’s tradition alive. Abreu’s goal is to share Latin and Caribbean flavors with the world, and she is doing so through Pisqueya’s online shop, which offers high-quality, natural sauces, including three different hot sauces.
Founders: Dominic, Nicholas and Daniel Maloney
About the Brand: Sol Cacao is a Black-owned company in the Bronx that delivers some of the finest chocolate bars in New York City, thanks to its Caribbean founders. Inspired by the lack of quality chocolate in the States, the brothers wanted to bring to the market “a type of chocolate that elevates taste.” Their chocolate bars contain only two ingredients: cacao beans and raw cane sugar. Additionally, each bar has ingredients from a different country.
Founder: Adolfo Santana
About the Brand: Viande Foods is a Caribbean-owned food brand founded by Adolfo Santana and operated out of Puerto Rico. It uses root veggies and plantains in its delicious pizzas and soups. The soups include flavors like plantain, cassava or yam, while the pizzas use plantains to create a crispy crust topped with more plantains, mozzarella cheese and meaty toppings. Order online or find Viande at a supermarket near you.
Contributors: Madison Alcedo, Taylor Bell, Ari Bines, Ellie Conley, Moriba Cummings, Jeanine Edwards, Jamé Jackson, Brittany Nims, Julia Webb
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