And the nominee in the category best (new) local product ... ASHEBRE GOURMET CONDIMENTS SMOKED SCOTHCH BONNET PEPPER SAUCE & BLACKENING SPICE
Ashebre Gourmet Condiments founder and culinary artist Oji Jaja presents his products Blackening Spice (left), Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce (Spicy) (centre) and Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Salt. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Principal: Oji Jaja

Email Address: cuisine@ashebre.com

How it started...

Ashebre Gourmet Condiments was born out of a need for natural products locally. Ashebre Gourmet Condiments is a part of our catering company Ashebre — the Virtual Restaurant. While doing that aspect of the business we realised a lot of our clients had a need for these products but they weren't always readily available locally, hence the start of Ashebre Gourmet Condiments.

The range of new products

Ashebre Pestos — Spicy, Mild and Non-Diary

Ashebre — Scotch Bonnett Pepper Salt (Spicy & Mild)

Ashebre — Scotch Bonnett Pepper Sauce (Spicy & Mild)

Vinaigrettes — Mango Basil, Papaya Ginger and Passionfruit

Where are the ingredients sourced?

The ingredients are all sourced locally from various farmers.

Where are the products currently sold?

Locally, our products are being sold at Super-Valu Fresh Foods, Loshusan, Barbican, General Foods, Liguanea, Butcher Block, Progressive Foods Bogue, Caribbean Producers Jamaica, Kingston & Montego Bay, Jamaica Food & Drink Kitchen & the USA via Amazon. We are currently in the process of trying to break into the Canadian market.

The story behind the packaging of the products... We wanted to use glass as it is an eco-friendly product and the colours on our packages represent Jamaica and our culture.

I made these products because… We saw a need for all-natural, flavourful products that aren't widely available to persons locally.

My first breakthrough came when… We were approved by our first supermarket to put our products on their shelves: Loshusan Barbican.

The products became available to the public in… Our pesto in 2009 and our other products were developed later.

Our core customers are… Persons looking for natural, healthy, local-made products.

The response to the products has been… Over the years our products have been warmly received by the public.

My products are successful because… We use all-natural-grown ingredients in them, which reflects in the flavours of said products.

I plan to grow the business to become… A household name in Jamaica and the diaspora and to export on a larger scale to the US, Canada and Europe.

My major challenge is… Importing bottles and sourcing raw materials in a timely fashion, due to unstable weather conditions.

If I knew then what I know now… I would have started earlier and not be influenced so much by the unknown.

Jamaicans should support my products because… We support local farmers, our products are high-quality, have great flavour and are artificial preservative free and we operate in a sustainable way.

Culinary artist Oji Jaja explains to the judges what they will be eating. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Blackened salmon with smoked breadfruit purée and tomato fondue (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Mango Lime Margarita garnished with Ashebre Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Salt. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Scotch Bonnet Honey Glazed Chicken with breadfruit chip and pineapple coleslaw (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
A helping of the Ashebre Gourmet Condiments Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce (Spicy) is added to a breadfruit chip. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Derrick Cotterell, group CEO and chairman, Derrimon Trading Company Ltd and Food Awards guest judge for the Best (New) Local Food Product, examines the label of the Ashebre Gourmet Condiments Blackening Spice. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

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