Welcome's Handmade Baskets
PRODUCT: Titai Basket
ARTIST: Margaret Goff
PRODUCT: Dark Chocolate
CONTACT: Luis Armando Choco
A tree-to-bean-to-bar chocolate company located in Punta Gorda, Belize. Since 2016 they have produced premium gourmet chocolate and related products using Belize’s fine flavor cacao. They use special cacao from their own farms as well as cacao produced by 150 Mayan cacao farmers in the Toledo and Stann Creek district.
They believe in direct trade as it allows them to pay their farmers significantly more than the current market and Fairtrade prices. All their cacao is sourced directly from the farmers, fermented and dried, in small-batch, at their centralized depot and processing facility in San Antonio which allows them to uniquely develop the flavor of the beans.
PRODUCT: Dark Chocolate
OWNER: Andrea Ack
Andrea is a Maya Que’chi who grew up in the beautiful quaint village of San Miguel. She married Mr. Martin Ack and became a house wife. Doing chores and taking care of the children was her daily routine, while Mr. Martin was out working 80 miles away. According to Andrea, her business started almost accidentally and it was never her intention. She’d only make chocolate treats for her children, nieces and nephews and of course for the family to drink. She was afraid of expanding her distributions, but her husband, a licensed tour guide, told her that they can start a business. About ten weeks later Andrea made her first bar of 80% dark chocolate. She loves the idea of helping other people reap from the numerous health benefits of real chocolate. At up and running, the family offers a bean to bar chocolate adventure with an educational cacao farm experience and making your own chocolate the traditional way.
A MESSAGE FROM ANDREA:
Thank you to each and everyone who have visited my small batch facility. I must say that each bar sold does not only support my family but also the farmers from whom we source our cacao beans.
Mad Chef Hot Sauce
PRODUCT: Hot Pepper Sauce
OWNER: Gian Cortez
Gian Cortez is a young aspiring Sushi Chef from San Pedro, who introduced his product, Mad Chef Hot Sauce, on January 15th, 2021. He has invested much time and knowledge into preparing his products, and after a few years of practice and encouragement from his friends, family and supporters, he made up his mind and dived right into his business. This sauce is the perfect blend of spicy and is smoked to perfection, that it will have your taste buds begging for more. It is also a unique hot sauce since it uses three different cooking styles and a variety of local herbs from Belize. Mad Chef Hot Sauce isn’t just a pepper sauce; it demonstrates the richness of products made in Belize.
Village Farm Organic Homestead
PRODUCT: Cacao Powder
OWNER: Lyra Vega
Meet Village Farm Organic Homestead. Nestled into the jungle coastline of Belize’s most remote Toledo District, in the heart of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. Our off-grid, off-road property is only accessible by boat. Disconnect from your devices and reconnect with yourself through food and nature during our immersive, challenging and unforgettable 3 day workshops. This experience is intensive, immersive, mind-expanding and not for the faint of heart. Expect to get your hands dirty. Our unique property is a working organic tropical permaculture farm founded in 1971 and located in a protected marine reserve. What we offer is an unprecedented all senses farm and jungle-to-table experience in a unique place.
PRODUCT: Whole Coffee Beans
OWNER: James Mesh
Organically grown on the foothills of the Maya Mountain Range in western Belize in the village of San Antonio, Cayo District. Oxmul Coffee derived from the original name of San Antonio in Yucatec Maya known as Oxmul Kah. James Mesh and family Maya Descendants who still speak the Yucatec Maya language decided to name their coffee brand Oxmul Coffee as to keep the original name of San Antonio for Generations to come and to produce organically Grown Coffee.
Ernest Turner's Art
PRODUCT: Black Slate Art
ARTISTS: Ernest & Gregory Turner
Both Gregory Turner and his son Ernest have been making art from wood, slate, and other materials for decades. Each piece of slate is carefully selected and then carved using a series of knives and special tools. This makes every piece unique. They are located in Camalote Village and have a little art shack on the highway. Before the pandemic, they were busy supplying the souvenir shops and resorts across the country with custom pieces. The tree symbol on the slate was inspired by the Ceiba tree, which is regarded as a sacred tree in the Mayan culture. In other cultures. It is referred to as the “Tree of Life”.
PRODUCT: Triple Tea
OWNER: Lyra Vega
Here at Taste Belize we are the food and culture experts! From fine dark chocolate to home made corn tortillas or a simple plate of coconut rice and beans, we love sharing our diverse culinary heritage with everyone who visits Belize. Taste Belize founder Lyra Spang grew up on an organic cacao farm off the grid in the jungles of southern Belize. Her family’s passion for good food and organic farming and her childhood eating dishes from the many different cultures of the south inspired her to pursue a doctorate in the anthropology of food. In the summer of 2014 Taste Belize Tours was born, with one passionate guide and a second hand minivan offering unique food and culture focused tours and classes for visitors looking for a different vacation experience. Our Belizean Flavors shop in Placencia sells amazing, 100% Belizean food and body care products including fine dark chocolate, tea, hot sauces, Belizean super foods, spices, teas, soaps, hair care and skin care products.
SunnyBrook Artisan Products
PRODUCT: Soap & Soap Stand
OWNER: Rebbeca Henrich
Here at our off-grid jungle homestead, we handcraft natural soaps and beauty products with homegrown and locally sourced ingredients since 2010. I moved to Belize in 2004. I’m a passionate soapmaker and I’m also a busy mom to 4 kids. Oh- and I’m a plant addict- from trying to get any available fruit tree planted on our homestead to all kinds of ornamental shrubs and plants and flowers. I can’t pass by a pretty plant stall without buying at least one. Our nicely crafted wooden soap hold is hand-made with local hard wood.
PRODUCT: Truly Turmeric Paste
OWNER: Umeeda & Nareena Switlo
NALEDO is a social enterprise founded by mother- daughter team Umeeda and Nareena Switlo. Being a better business for better lives means sourcing sustainably and partnering with hundreds of small-scale growers to ensure we have a positive impact from forest to fridge. Umeeda was born in Uganda to a family of entrepreneurs, her father managed an insurance company and her mother ran a Montessori school, BOTH raced cars! During the 1970s, a dictator terrorized the country and the family fled Uganda for Canada as refugees. Umeeda arrived with 1 suitcase at the age of 15.
Umeeda’s mother, Mamajee, cooked to help keep the stories of home alive over the dinner table. They convinced Mamajee to write a cookbook called ‘Mamajee’s Kitchen’, which is now available on their website. Nareena is Umeeda’s daughter, who grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Her mom and mamajee taught her how to cook and instilled in her a strong sense of social responsibility. While she was learning how to make chicken curry they would tell stories of Uganda and ask Nareena what she was going to do to make the world a better place.
PRODUCTS: Lotion, Caribbean Rub, Pinapple Salsa
OWNER: Chef Libby Vidrine
In the foothills of Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge, every one of our natural ingredients are raised. Our products include an exotic array of wild, local and traditional spices. Over 90% of all our ingredients are nurtured by the rich tropical soil of the Belizean Rainforest. The coconuts, vegetables, peppers & herbs are dried by the Caribbean sun and harvested by local farmers up the road. Our homemade products are inspired by our diverse surroundings including the savory flavors of the Maya, Mestizo, Guatemalan, Caribe, and Garifuna people. My international culinary experiences range from Thailand to Italy and the Virgin to Caribbean Islands, it all comes together to form our unique sauces, spices, raw honey and other products.
PRODUCT: Plantain Chips
OWNER: Emanuel & Vivianna Salazar