Latin cuisine has the significant influence of spices throughout the culinary world.
In addition to their empanadas, arroz con guandules, arepas, tacos, and more, Latinos also use a variety of unique spices to make their cuisine stand out.
One spice and seasoning company that has skyrocketed in popularity promoting its Latino roots is New York-based Loisa Comida Real.
They decided to name their new business opportunity, Loisa, in honor of “Loisaida”, the Spanish name for the Lower East Side neighborhood in New York.
Their goal is to provide access to ingredients that are not artificial, MSG and unnecessary preservatives. Instead of using toxic ingredients, they wanted to highlight the spices that make Latin cuisine unique.
Scott Hatiss, Kenny Luna, and Chef Yadira Garcia have all come together to create authentic tasting, fully organic spices.
The company was founded in 2017 and has grown rapidly in popularity over the years, particularly last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While millions of people across the country have had to stay at home due to COVID restrictions, many have found themselves cooking more than ever before.
“Which helped us grow a little bit during the pandemic … people would cook at home and choose natural ingredients,” said Hattis, co-founder of Loisa, in a recent interview with News AL D NewsA.
Hattis had the idea to showcase Sazon, Adobo and Sofrito, the main bases of Caribbean cuisine from his wife, Anna, whose family is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“She grew up seeing her parents and grandfather use these ingredients in their cooking,” Hattis said.
In addition to the typical brands that Hattis’ wife used to cook, the couple also became health conscious as parents to their son.
“We decided that we were going to start blending our own blends, which led to the products we have now,” he said.
Chef Yadira Garcia, co-owner of Loisa, has had a major influence on what the company offers.
“We engaged her as a partner in the business and she helped us develop a recipe for sofrito, which was a multigenerational recipe from her family,” Hattis said.
Garcia, originally from the Bronx, is also a food activist, who works with several community organizations and public schools to emphasize the importance of healthy eating and access to healthy food in public schools.
“She teaches and works with children’s and youth groups and the education council,” Hattis said.
Garcia has also spoken out on adding other items to the business, such as various salsas and other types of sofrito.
The small business has no plans to slow down anytime soon, but Hattis also wants to focus on quality and sustainability when it comes to keeping his business going.
“Right now we are focusing on the internet and we want to give others access as much as possible,” he said.
To support a small Latino-owned business, visit their website.