20 Latino-owned food and drink products you should add to your grocery list
During Hispanic Heritage Month, TODAY is sharing the community’s history, pain, joy and pride. We are highlighting Hispanic trailblazers and rising voices. TODAY will be publishing personal essays, stories, videos and specials throughout the month of September and October. For more, head here.
Coffee, chocolates and premiere hot sauces are just some of the foods inspired by the rich terroir of Latin America. These food brands, many family- or woman-owned and all with Latin roots, are celebrating their heritages with exceptional products.
It's always wonderful to read the labels, check the Instagram pages and learn about the personal histories behind the people who deliver great food to our grocery stores and kitchens. While this is just a handful of the many Latino brands showcasing their culinary talents, we can verify each one will make you fall in love, one bite or sip at a time.
These beans are sourced in Puerto Rico, brewed in New York City coffee shops and shipped nationwide to kitchens around the country. In 2014, New Yorkers Sam Sepulveda and Brandon Pena, bought 103 acres of land in Maricao, Puerto Rico, and became coffee farmers. Now they're delivering their love of Puerto Rican coffee to consumers nationwide, without the middle man.
Run by sisters Ruth and Carla Wahnon from Sao Paulo, Brazil, this vegan fruit snack brand relies on bananas for its sweet, delightful flavor. The Wahnons, who have lived in Massachusetts for more than 30 years, opened a facility back in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and have become one of the top employers in the rural town. The sisters also source their bananas locally to help independent farmers and to continue making an impact on the community they came from.
Bodega Catena Zapata
This father-and-daughter operated vineyard has been in business in the beautiful landscape of Argentina since 1902 when their ancestors began growing grapes in the high altitude region of Mendoza. Laura Catena joined her father in running the family vineyard, in addition to being a mother of three, scientist and emergency room doctor, to continue developing red and white blends that carry on tradition and new ideas all in one bottle.
Need a simple dressing with vibrant yet versatile flavor? Mom Vivian "Vivie" Jasper bottled up her family's "The Everything Dressing" recipe that had been passed down through generations. Jasper wanted to honor her Spanish and Mexican heritage and share the zesty, multi-purpose sauce that can be used as a salad dressing, pasta sauce, marinade and dip. The product is is family-owned, self-funded made in the U.S.
For anyone all about avocados (really, who isn't?), Chosen Foods has an avocado-based lineup of everything from guac to Spanish romesco simmer sauces to mayos and cooking oils. Helmed by Mexican American CEO Gabriel Perez Krieb, the brand is inspired by his Mexican roots. All the avocado oil used in Chosen Foods' products are pressed in Guadalajara and 50% of its employees are Hispanic or Latin American. Chosen is available at retailers nationwide, including Target, Cossco, Kroger, Sprouts and more.
Coffee del Mundo
This Afro-Latino-owned coffee shop was started in South Los Angeles and delivers nationwide. They work with small farmers around the world to get beans, packaged whole, in pods and for cold brews, to kitchens around the country.
Oscar Ochoa’s handcrafted salsas, cilantro jasmine rice, Kernel of Truth organic tortillas and other goods are made in Los Angeles and sold locally and online. Founded in 2012, the brand is named after the socialist Mexican newspaper by the same name that was printed in Mexico City from 1924 to 1929.
Flor de María
These fine CBD chocolates are batched up in Brooklyn, New York, and made from Latin American cacao and hemp flower extract. Each bar has 120 milligrams of non-psychoactive CBD that's combined into decadent bars for any lover of chocolate, decadence and relaxation. The exquisite packaging and unique flavors like dark chocolate lemongrass and ghost pepper caramel make these the perfect gift — for yourself or anyone else you're fond of in life.
Llama Land Organics
Sourced from Peru (or as the brand calls it, the "Land of Superfoods"), these organic fruit spreads and cereals have got mornings covered. Many of the ingredients are central to the Andean diet, which has been around since ancient Mesoamerica among the Inca, including quinoa, amaranth, arracacha, maca, yacon root and cacao. The company is wife- and husband-owned by Lisa and Ismael Petrozzi who live in the U.S. with their two young boys.
Dominican and Peruvian American Kenny Luna and his friend Scott Hattis began their quest to develop delicious dried seasonings steeped in Latin culinary traditions from their homes in New York City. Today, with co-owner Yadira Garcia, a Dominican American chef, food activist and educator, their organic sofrito, sazón and adobo are available online to flavor foods in kitchens across the country.
Mexican food, virtual cooking classes and a curated mercadito ("little shop") of goods that shine in the kitchen. She sells kitchen and home accessories as well as specialty foods like Mexican vanilla extract, salsa morita and hibiscus jam. The multifaceted resource for appreciating Mexican cuisine was founded by Dolores Wiarco Dweck, aka Lola. On the website, home cooks can view her virtual workshop schedule, from kids' classes to tutorials on how to cook with edible flowers. Dweck donates a portion of the proceeds from her products and classes to charities that help women and children in the community advance in education and business.
Belizean brothers Greg and David Figueroa combine vegetable and fruit-based ingredients from Colombia to craft their line of well balanced, tasty sauces. With hot sauces that rank in heat levels one to five (five being their Ghost Pepper Sauce), to wing sauces like Spicy Garlic Parmesan and sweeter Sticky Asian, the Figueroas have a sauce to turn up the heat on anyone's dinner, no matter the cuisine.
A Mexican-owned tequila brand co-founded by mixologist Juan Coronado and crafted by Maestra Tequilera Ana Maria Romero, Mijenta is a sustainable, small-batch distillery in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The founders work to preserve the area's local traditions in how it grows, harvests and distills the agave. They also made a commitment to purchase all components of their product directly from Mexico and source it sustainably, down to the packaging, which is made from agave waste.
Founded by a fifth generation Ecuadorian farmer, Ricky Echanique, Mikuna brings chocho, the ancient protein from the Andes mountains, to the U.S. Chocho is a superfood from the lupin family (part of the pea family) and has been cultivated for thousands of years by indigenous people in the Andes Mountains. It's a nutritious snack packed with protein, nutrients and fiber. The best part is that chocho is naturally regenerative because it grows best with rain, enriches the soil, helps clean the air and can be grown sustainably to support local Andean communities.
Old Salt Merchants
Owner Monique Rodriguez uses ingredients from around the world to infuse gourmet salts, sugars and loose-leaf teas with unique flavors. Her range of salts include floral variations like Rose Mountain or hibiscus, while the raw organic cane sugars are seasoned with Jamaican ginger, habanero inspired by a trip to the Yucatán, and a warm cinnamon sourced from Indonesia. The salts can be purchased on the company website, online shopping hub Klarna or Rodriguez’s brick-and-mortar shop in Berkeley, California.
From spicy sweet to smoky hot, this Dominican hot sauce brand has a spice point for everyone and is available nationwide online. The Brooklyn, New York-based company, owned by Maritza Abreu, was born from the ashes — literally. After her Dominican parent's restaurant burnt down after 22 years of business, it led Abreu to begin bottling up the family hot sauce recipe.
SIA Scotch Whisky
One of the only Scotch brands owned by a Hispanic woman, SIA is the passion project of first-generation Cuban American entrepreneur Carin Luna-Ostaseski. She founded the brand after falling in love with tastings of the spirit and began her research to craft a batch of a premium Scotch whisky at an affordable price.
Available online and at many grocers nationwide, these tortilla chips come in a wide range flavors, from fuego to lime and chipotle BBQ. Each bag of chips are made with cassava flour and avocado oil to ensure there's no gluten. Siete Foods is owned and operated by the Garza family.
This hot sauce and cactus chips brand was named after founder Hector Saldivar's mother, known affectionally by his family as Tia Lupita. When Saldivar moved from Mexico to San Francisco, his mom began sending him batches of her homemade salsa. After asking for her permission to bottle the recipe for the world to enjoy, Saldivar launched his business honoring Mexico, mama and the napoles cactus (aka prickly pear) with tasty snacks available throughout the States.
Founded by chef and cookbook author Jocelyn Ramirez and run by a team of Latina women, Todo Verde is a go-to resource for plant-based, Mexican food. Ramirez hosts online cooking classes and ingredient bundles with all the products one needs to craft a vegetarian feast, from strawberry-rose tamales to jackfruit carnitas and roasted poblano macaroni and cheese.
Owner Yola Jimenez follows a very specific mezcal recipe that was first made by her grandfather in 1971 and passed down to her. The 400-year-old tradition of distilling the smoky liquor of Oaxaca is followed by Jimenez's all women-run facility that offers direct pay to its employees and partners in the U.S. and Oaxaca.
For more of our Hispanic Heritage Month coverage, tune into TODAY All Day’s special, “Come with Us: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month,” hosted by Tom Llamas. Watch Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. EST at TODAY.com/allday.