Spicing Things UP
Its minimalist white-and-green rectangular packaging caught our eye. So Thursday Food picked up one of the Local Spice boxes off the supermarket shelf to examine it more closely. Two phone calls later, we had Marvin Stuart, one of the meat seasoning company's directors on line. He and his twin Marlon head Local Spice. He assured us that the seasoning, which can be used for poultry, fish, pork and beef, has no MSG in its contents.
"I got the idea for the product after my wife [Shani] and I had decided to give a unique token to guests at our wedding. We made them sauces and got great responses after they used them."
Six years later, when the twin brothers were brainstorming for a business venture, Marvin remembered his culinary creation. The brothers fine-tuned the recipe, using family and friends as guinea pigs to perfect the final product. Finessing their plans, Local Spice was officially launched on the market last year.
Marvin said the barely year old product has been successful. It's no idle boast since he disclosed an estimated 35,000 pouches are manufactured weekly at the Barbican-based factory. Locally grown escallion, thyme, onions, Scotch bonnet peppers and pimento are among the ingredients in Local Spice. Stuart stressed to Thursday Food that his company is a firm supporter of Jamaican farmers. "We work closely with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and they source the products we need from local farmers," he added, noting that Local Spice spends an estimated $2 million yearly on raw materials.
Sold in the Hi-Lo and Progressive Group supermarket chains, Local Spice is also exported to the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Nigeria and Lebanon. The company is presently in negotiations with Wal-Mart retail chain to carry Local Spice in its expansive network of North American stores.
Complete Seasoning - completely fabulous!
A very 'young' Jamaican seasoning has scored big with an American food guru.
After just three months on the market, Complete Seasoning, a blend of natural spices produced by Jamaican company, Local Spice Limited, has earned rave reviews from Phil Lempert, one of America's leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts.
During the most recent episode of his popular weekly programme New Product Hits and Misses, which debuted this week on www.supermarketguru.com and was featured on ABC News on Thursday, April 8, Lempert gave Complete Seasoning an impressive 95 out of 100 rating. The product received top marks for taste, value, health, ingredients, preparation, appearance and packaging.
"This product is a hit! If you have ever been to the Caribbean and especially to Jamaica, you know that when it comes to spice, there is no comparison. I love this Complete Seasoning. The combination of scallions, hot peppers, salt, black pepper, allspice and thyme is extraordinary. It comes in a liquid consistency that is perfect to spread on fish or chicken, pasta or add to just about any recipe," said Lempert, who is commonly referred to as the 'Supermarket Guru'.The brainchild of twin brothers Marlon and Marvin Stuart, Complete Seasoning first entered the market in January of this year. Marlon expressed his elation at receiving the accolade from Lempert, which he views as a solid endorsement of his product.
Localspice: growing Jamaica one pouch at a time
Nashauna Drummond, Lifestyle Coordinator
Fraternal twins Marvin and Marlon Stuart are on a mission to grow Jamaica, one pouch at a time. While there may be conflicting reports about who is older, there is no conflict about what they hope to achieve with their localspice Complete Seasoning.
A paste of allspice, scallion, hot pepper, salt, thyme and black pepper, one pouch takes care of all your seasoning needs whether you are cooking fish, chicken, pork or beef. Marvin notes the product is for "people like us, the average person who comes home from work and has to cook for the family. It is to make life easier."
When Marvin was about to get married eight years ago, he and his bride-to-be wanted to do something different for their wedding guests gifts. They came up with the idea of a sachet of seasoning listing the ingredients as love, happiness etc. After the wedding, persons kept asking them where they could purchase it.
So in January this year, when he became tired of working in the corporate world, he called his brother Marlon. They knew they wanted to manufacture something but it had to be a product that was recognised globally and had to support Jamaica.
His wedding came to mind and after numerous phone calls and emails, localspice was born.
100 per cent Jamaican
The brothers pride themselves on their product being 100 per cent Jamaican. The ingredients are bought from local farmers, the box is made, printed and the seasoning packaged in Jamaica. "It is made in Jamaica and will never be outsourced," Marvin notes emphatically. The duo is confident about the future success of their product. "Everything is achievable with hard work. You have to think I'm faster, and better then everybody else going into that market. Everything is Usainable," notes Marvin, the mouthpiece of the two.
Growing up in a family business, they always knew they wanted to help Jamaica. Now they are challenging local farmers that they will buy what they produce and even make a downpayment on the quantity to show their commitment.
Currently available in only 26 stores in Jamaica, they have been told by local stores that their product is too new. However, in the past week it has achieved traction in the overseas market after it was endorsed by and earned rave reviews from Phil Lambert, one of America's leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts. Lambert rates new products on his weekly programme New Product Hits and Misses, which was featured on ABC News Now on Thursday, April 8.
"The only way our product will go down is if people stop eating. It's not seasonal, it's everyday and we want to be a Jamaican brand that is globally recognised, that they (Jamaicans) are proud of."
Eat what you grow
Along with localspice, Marvin's baby project is A Gift of Growth. With the belief that the only way poverty can be alleviated in Jamaica is if we eat what we grow. He has three million parcels of scotch bonnet seeds which he intends to hand out to every Jamaican, beginning in schools over the next two years. "This is my little baby," he notes recalling the excitement of his children when they recently participated in a similar project. "It's about children taking it home and spending time with their parents to plant it. That is priceless, and I want to share that excitement with my children and with Jamaica. Then, it's to the Caribbean, a gift from Jamaica then to the world."
6 Pack LaunchLocal Spice receive high marks for its new impressive 6 piece box for the overseas and local markets.
This new 6 pouch box was developed due to the increase demand for a multi pouch box which is now available in stores across the island.
Below are the names and location of stores within Kingston and its environs where our new 6 pouch box is now available.
- Lee's Food Fair - 86 Red Hills Road
- Loshusan Supermarket - 86 East Kings House Rd
- Hilo - Cross Road
- Hilo – Spanish Town
- Brooklyn Supermarket - Constant Spring Road
- Brooklyn Supermarket - Twin Gate Plaza
- Michi -Washington Blvd
- Family Pride Supermarket - Shop 4 Havendale Plaza
- Super Valu Supermarket - 56 Mannings Hill Road
- Sovereign Supermarket -106 Barbican Road
More stores will become available within the next few weeks.
"We will continue to market our product through the eyes of our farmers and the consumers in building a brand that is all Jamaican" stated Marvin Stuart CEO Local Spice ltd