The Latinx population may be on the rise in the US, but grocery aisles still don’t reflect our growing presence. Food products essential to Latin American cuisines remain difficult to find when competing for shelf space in “ethnic” grocery store aisles, and — while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to use the legacy brands relied on for generations — you might be surprised to learn that many of them aren’t Latinx-owned.
If you’d like to spruce up your shopping cart and support smaller family-owned companies, we’ve got you covered. Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by checking out some of our favorite food and kitchen brands from across the Latin American diaspora to support year-round. Whether you’re searching for a new snack, seasonings you don’t have to whip up from scratch, or a way to change up your coffee blend, look no further.
We’re recommending these products because we actually use, and like, them. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
Puerto Rican Pantry
Eric Rivera, the chef behind Seattle’s Addo, didn’t let the restraints of the COVID-19 pandemic halt his operations. Rivera quickly pivoted his business model by selling reheatable meals and eventually curating unique culinary experiences like family-style dinners and restaurant tours across the US. The #GoyaBoycott prompted him to start shipping homemade Puerto Rican staple seasonings including dried pigeon peas, rice, and sazón to bring the flavor of his cooking into your home.
Hedley & Bennett
After tiring of all of her aprons falling apart in some of LA’s best kitchens, Mexican British chef Ellen Marie Bennett came up with the idea to design her own. As Patricia Suarez, owner of the pop-up Sofrita y Salsa recently told us, there’s no shortage of pockets or adjustable straps on Hedley & Bennett Carryall’s practical yet stylish aprons. The aprons also come in a range of colors, and you can add embroidery for a personal touch.
Your rice and beans may never compare to the ones your abuela makes in her beat-up caldero, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. With Imusa’s affordable cookware (which comes in fun colors), you won’t break the bank as you learn to perfect the family recipes.
When husband and wife Sandra Portal-Andreu and Juan Andre founded tappas, they had one goal: to find a way to bring more people to the dining table. The couple’s all-natural beech wood serving containers make hosting easy, so you can stress less about plating and spend more time enjoying your own party. We love that the sustainable brand contributes a portion of sales towards the nonprofit organization Plant More Project’s tree replanting and education efforts.
The Garza family started Siete when one member’s autoimmune diagnosis drove her to experiment with grain-free tortilla alternatives. This Austin-based company wants to make sure that, even if you have dietary restrictions, you can still enjoy life’s finest pleasures, like churros. Made with cassava instead of all-purpose flour, these Churro Strips might not stack up to your local subway vendor’s, but they’ll at least scratch your itch for a cinnamon-sugar treat. Dip them in chocolate, and you’ll forget they’re paleo, vegan, and gluten-free.
We’ve scoured the aisles of bodegas and gourmet grocery stores, but keep going back to this classic brand. These tostones have an extra-textured crunch and are sturdy enough for scooping up your favorite salsas.
Martiza Abreau’s family restaurant Puerto Viejo has served Dominican food to Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood since the 1980s. Now, the entrepreneur is sourcing scotch bonnet, jalapeño, and Caribbean chili peppers directly from farms in the Dominican Republic to carry on her family’s coveted sauces. Each Pisqueya flavor — a name riffing off of the Taíno Indian word for the island of Hispaniola, Quisqueya — can be used as a hot sauce or a sofrito. We love adding Medium Buzz to this sancocho recipe.
Elisa’s Love Bites
The Panamanian pastry chef Elisa Lyew opened Elisa’s Love Bites in New York City’s East Village during the COVID-19 pandemic with a mission to serve delicious baked goods with as many nutritious ingredients as possible. The gluten-free bakery ships its signature fig cookies, chocolate cake, and more nationwide.
Cereal is the antidote to months of meal prepping fatigue. We’re big fans of Llama Land’s flakes and crunchy blends that highlight superfoods harvested in Peru for the past thousands of years. The organic cereals — packed with quinoa, amaranth, purple corn, maca, yacon root, and cacao — are best enjoyed for lunch while WFH in your pajamas without any colleagues around to judge.
When Diana Hoyos of Medellín, Colombia founded Muchacha, she wanted to ensure that her coffee supported women every step of the way. (Her social impact company runs off an entirely female supply chain.) You won’t miss Cafe Bustelo too much while sipping Coffee Inés’ floral and panela roast.
Mojitos always sounds like a good idea, until you remember you don’t have any mint on hand. Cuban American Cristina Ros Blankfein co-founded Swoon to put a healthier spin on the refreshing cocktail, and the result will ensure that you never doubt your mixology skills again. The assorted sugar and calorie-free mixers derive their sweetness from monk fruit extract and don’t have that funky artificial sweetener taste. Skip the herb aisle, add ice and a shot of your favorite rum to some of Swoon’s Cucumber Mint, and you’re set.
Years of research led Sonya Vega to craft her ideal mezcal — not too smoky or intense. A female-led production team in Santiago Matatlán outside of Oaxaca, Mexico is behind the small-batch brand putting a modern spin on the spirit. Doña Vega’s white pepper finish and guava notes will have even the non-mezcal drinker hooked.
The Oregon winery Alumbra Cellars launched during Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month in 2019 and continues to use the time to honor their roots. This month only, 10% of the proceeds from a pack of the 2019 Mezcla Pinot Noir and 2019 Mitote Tempranillo and Pinot Noir blend will benefit the Latina empowerment organization Adelante Mujeres.
Calabash founder Sunyatta Amen is a fifth-generation herbalist based in D.C. setting out to decolonize wellness by promoting food as medicine within brown and Black communities. Sample a couple of herbal or caffeinated teas, and show off at your next picnic date with the raw honey stirrers included in the gift set.
After years of her family begging her to sell her go-to dressing, Vivian Jasper finally launched Brizo in 2017. A recipe initially created for pasta salads, her simple yet flavorful olive oil and lemon-based dressings are versatile and work wonders as dipping sauces or marinades.
Flor De Maria
When Venezuelan entrepreneur William Zitser started trying out CBD edibles to cope with anxiety, none of the chocolates on the market spoke to him. Having already dabbled in chocolate making in his NYC apartment, launching his own brand honoring his roots was the natural next step. Made with cacao sourced from family-owned producers in El Salvador, flavors like lemongrass, sea salt, and ghost pepper caramel make it easy to forget that each bar is packed with 120 mg of CBD.
Argentinian-born founder Ana Goldseker grew up drinking yerba mate, and, after decades of experience as a nutritionist, decided to share the sacred drink with the masses. Yerba mate aficionados will be impressed with her wide range of blends of the traditional South American tea. We recommend the “Clean” blend’s warming cinnamon turmeric ginger spice for fall.
Staff Writer Bryan Kim can’t stop slathering everything in this hot sauce that he discovered at Brooklyn’s Salvadorian restaurant Bahia in Williamsburg. A few drops of the tangy mustard-based Panamanian condiment are all you need to enhance any dish.
Corinne Joachim Sanon Symietz founded Haiti’s first premier bean-to-bar chocolate company in 2015 while living in Brooklyn. To produce the cacao for each bar, Sanon had her grandparents’ house in Ouanaminthe, Haiti converted into a factory. The 65% Bouquet Vert Lime Chocolate bar’s subtle lime zest is a must-try (and Grandchamps in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant recently collaborated with the chocolatier on some exclusive bars).
Once playing around with an at-home brew kit turned into a viable business, the two friends behind this Pico Rivera, California brewery used their success to give back to the community. Recently, they partnered with National Day Laborers Organizing Network to release beers benefiting migrant workers. While you wait for the next drop, try the fan-favorite hibiscus flower pale ale Tomo La Flor.
Melly Barajas’ extra vegetal reposado rests in reused Jack Daniels barrels for 8 months to a year at her small-batch distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. You can feel extra good about drinking this tequila because, once it’s filtered, it’s poured into recycled Mexican Coke bottles.
Whenever mother and daughter Lourdes and Gabriela traveled to Ecuador, they savored the moments after meals when they got to wind down with fresh herb-and-fruit tea in lieu of dessert. Capuli’s edible tea is made from upcycled and dehydrated misfit fruits and spices, and the Velvet Hibiscus dried apple bits are all you need to satisfy your sweet tooth.