For many West Indians who live in the states and in Canada, it’s definitely hard to find ingredients you were accustom to at home. Malika and Jamila saw a need from their friends and family when they relocated to New York from Trinidad. Though they now reside in South Florida, we had a chance to catch up with them both to discuss their revolutionary idea.
“Having lived in New York City, we had relatively easy access to local products from back home,” says Malika. “We kept hearing from friends & family who lived in other places that is was difficult to find products from home. This was our motivation to start Callaloo Box.”
The Callaloo box was born.
“We wanted a name that really spoke to what we represent as a brand both in terms of the service we are offering and the feeling we want to convey. We also wanted a name that was part of our Trinbagonian vernacular. “
“Callaloo is one of the national dishes of Trinidad & Tobago, so this direct reference to food was one reason we thought this choice for a name was a good fit. Callaloo is a flavorful dish with a soup-like consistency made from dasheen (callaloo) bush, ochroes, coconut milk and various other seasonings. All these ingredients are simmered creating a wonderfully flavorful dish. We found this to be a great parallel to the ethnic diversity of Trinidad and Tobago, with our ancestors coming from Africa, India, China, the Middle East and other places, bringing their culture and of course food and cooking techniques and adapting to what was available to them. So our food is a wonderful mix of all this cultural diversity that has resulted in a taste that is uniquely Trinbagonian. We felt that ‘callaloo’ conveyed this nicely, so that was the other reason we decided on that name.”
“Only two years old, our subscription box service features seasonings, condiments, pepper (hot) sauces & snacks delivered to your doorstep. Our themed monthly boxes create that nostalgic feeling of ‘being back home’. No longer will you have to wait for your next trip or for friends and family to bring your favorites for you.”
“Caribbean food is so rich in unique flavors and spices. Callaloo Box is our way of sharing our love for our food and culture not only with fellow Trinbagonians living abroad but with anyone who loves ‘Trini’ food. Our goal is to bring a little piece of home right to your door step!”
What’s in them?
“With the subscription box service, each month’s box features a different themed selection of seasonings, condiments, spices, pepper sauces, snacks etc. For example, this month’s theme is the Trinbago Snack Box which features an assortment of classic sweet and spicy snacks that we grew eating and still love today. This box includes crunchy channa (chick peas), spicy preserved plums, red (salt) prunes, fudge, sugar cake, tamarind balls, khurma and nuts.”
“If you prefer to shop for individual items instead of subscribing for monthly boxes, we also have the Callaloo Box Grocery where you can find items like green seasoning, pepper sauce, spices, pimento sauce, chutneys, kuchelas, curry powder, snacks, drinks etc.”
Malika and Jamila’s main goal is to bring a little piece of home to you. Calalloo Box is helping to bring more access to those who need Caribbean grocery products. With their subscription service, they have improved accessibility and convenience by bringing that taste of the West Indies right to you!