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Loisa Comida Real uses all-natural, organic ingredients. Photo: Scott Hattis.
Loisa Comida Real uses all-natural, organic ingredients. Photo: Scott Hattis.

Loisa Comida Real brings authentic Latin spices to the kitchen

The New York-based company saw a rise in sales during the pandemic as more people than ever were forced to cook at home.

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Latino cuisine has the significant influence of spice throughout the culinary world.

In addition to its empanadas, arroz con guandules, arepas, tacos, and so much more, Latinos also use a variety of unique spices to make their cuisine pop.

One business of spice and seasoning that has been skyrocketing in popularity by promoting its Latino roots is Loisa Comida Real, based in New York City.

They decided to name their new business opportunity, Loisa, in honor of “Loisaida,” the Spanglish name for the Lower East Side neighborhood in New York City.

Their focus is to provide access to ingredients that aren't artificial, MSG, and unnecessary preservatives. Instead of using toxic ingredients, they wanted to highlight the spices that make Latin cuisine unique.

Scott Hattis, Kenny Luna, and Chef Yadira Garcia all came together to create spices that are real in flavor and completely organic.

The company was founded in 2017, and quickly grew in popularity over the years, especially last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As millions of people across the country had to stay at home due to COVID restrictions, many found themselves cooking more than ever before.

“What helped us grow a bit during the pandemic... people were cooking at home and choosing natural ingredients,'' Hattis, co-founder of Loisa, said in a recent interview with AL DÍA News.

Hattis got the idea to highlight Sazon, Adobo, and Sofrito, the main bases of Caribbean cuisine from his wife, Anna, whose family is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

“She grew up seeing her parents and grandfather use these ingredients in their cooking,” Hattis said.

In addition to the typical brands Hattis’ wife used when cooking, the pair also became health conscious as parents for their son.

“We decided that we were going to start mixing our own blends, which led to the products that we have now,” he said.

Chef Yadira Garcia, a co-owner at Loisa, has been a major influence on what the company puts out.

“We brought her on as a partner in the business and she helped us develop a recipe for the sofrito, which was a multi-generational recipe from her family,” said Hattis.

Garcia, a Bronx native, is also a food activist, who works with several community-based organizations and public schools to highlight the importance of healthy eating and access to healthy foods at public schools.

“She teaches and works with kids and youth groups and the board of education,” said Hattis.

Garcia has also been vocal about adding other items to the business, such as different salsas and other types of sofrito.

The small company has no plans to slow down anytime soon, but Hattis also wants to focus on quality and sustainability when it comes to maintaining his business venture.

“We are focused online for now and we want to provide access to others as much as we can,” he said.

To support a Latino-owned small business, visit their website.

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