Stressing that the program is not a charity, Lucien explained that Bel Soley and the farmers participate in both the financial risks and rewards of bringing agricultural products to the export market. “It’s one step beyond ‘teaching a person how to fish’ – we’re fishing right alongside them,” said Lucien.
To offset the risk, Bel Soley sought the expertise of the fiery foods community for equipment, processing and distribution advice. The company then partnered with farmers, government agencies, international development groups, individual investors, angel investors, U.S. wholesalers, non-profit organizations, including the Community Coalition for Haiti (CCH), a non-profit dedicated to supporting economic improvement in Haiti.
“We have or can grow a range of more exotic tropical fruits, including passion fruit, soursop, sapote, acerola (Barbados Cherry), tamarind, and more,” Hays explained. “Mangos, papayas, bananas and pineapples are readily available as a base.”
The result—a world class, organic pepper sauce called Haiti is Hot! or “Nap Boule”, which means “We are on fire!” in Creole. Bel Soley’s Haiti is Hot! project debuted at the 2010 Fiery Foods and Barbeque Show to the great interest of many attendees and the media, and over the past six months, the company has gone on to produce two separate hot sauces made with traditional Haitian ingredients and techniques.
The Nap Boule Hot Sauce in Mango Cherry combines three different varieties of native mangoes with the Barbados Cherry for a fruity, sweet pepper sauce. The Nap Boule Hot Sauce in Papaya brings together mellow papaya and other locally-grown ingredients, including a local variety of grapefruit known as chadeque, and Haiti’s well-known sugar cane sugar.
“The Bel Soley products have so much natural appeal,” said Chip Hearn, President of Peppers.com, one of the country’s leading wholesale and retail providers for specialty hot sauces and other condiments. “First, the pepper they use is really unique; they are the only sauces on the market made with Piman Bouk. Second, the fruit flavors they use—like the Haitian cherry, papaya and mango—are incredible. Finally, and most importantly, the products have a great flavor profile. They should succeed both with collectors of unique sauces and those who purchase sauces to spice up their cuisine.”
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