Goya Foods products have been famously used by many Latinos around the world, especially for their packets of sofrito, blended spices (like adobo), and other seasonings with emblematic flavors such as cilantro and garlic. But now, many are seeking alternatives to Goya products after the company’s CEO, Roberto Unanue praised President Trump at a White House event this week. And with that calls for a boycott ensued which gained momentum through Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Now, as many ex-Goya consumers are panicking looking for alternatives, it’s important to note that delicious seasoning/sofrito has never been exclusive to Goya products. Actually, there are several better, tastier, healthier, and fresher alternatives to Goya Foods. And what’s better? Many of these alternative options are created and sold by local small businesses owned by BIPOC. Win, win, win!
Based in Brooklyn, New York
Pisqueya is a Dominican “hot sauce with a twist,” composed of Latin/Caribbean flavors using high-quality ingredients that are natural without preservatives or MSG.
The first batches of Pisqueya’s hot-sauce date back to the 1980s when Maritza Abreu’s family immigrated from Jarabacoa to New York and opened up Puerto Viejo – currently one of the best Dominican restaurants in NYC. Over the decades, their sauces and seasonings became so popular, that Maritza launched the Pisqueya hot sauce company which is now sold in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.
“Goya has homogenized the complexity of flavors of the cuisine of Latin America. Their thoughtless comments while profiting off of our culture is despicable. You have options for their replacements… [And can] support small businesses that don’t Christopher Columbus culture and cuisine for their own needs.”– Eric Rivera
Based in Seattle Washington
Eric Rivera’s passion for cooking coupled with his Puerto Rican family’s kitchen influences has led to the creation of his own restaurant Group: Addo Seattle which includes Lechonsito Restaurant. Today, both offer pantry products that you can easily order online such as beans, rice, sofrito, mojo, sazón, adobo, flan, chili oil, and much more. Yum!
Based in Los Angeles, California
Guelaguetza is a restaurant, boutique market, and advocate for Oaxacan culture. Owned and run by a Mexican-born family who every year, travel to their hometown of Oaxaca to handpick their kitchen/product’s ingredients.
Today, they sell mole jars that are easy to prepare, along with chiles, herbs, michelada mixes, and beans hand-picked and imported from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Sabroso Healthy Vibes
“I’ve witnessed too many members of our community suffering from high blood pressure due to the overconsumption of salt.”– Karin Arias
Based in the Bronx, New York
Sabroso Healthy Vibes was created by Karin Arias who sells a salt-free adobo blend. As a dietitian, she particularly emphasizes the healthier aspect of her special adobo mix for helping combat the prevalence of high blood pressure in our Latino/Bronx communities. This is especially relevant today since as she notes: “Covid-19 has truly highlighted the health disparities in our communities and how it has disproportionately affected our people due to previous health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, etc.”
Karin’s goal is to offer tasty spices that support a healthy lifestyle while enhancing the natural flavors of veggies, spices, and herbs. This way consumers can add their own salt to their preference and in healthier doses. A salubrious alternative to Goya foods!
The Freakin Rican
Based in Astoria, Queens
Derick Lopez is the executive chef and owner of The Freakin Rican – a Puertorican restaurant and shop for sofrito, adobo, and pasteles! His dream of starting his own restaurant coupled with his mom’s cooking influences led to the creation of his Astoria-based restaurant. If you’re not in Queens, that’s OK because you can order the products online.
And best of all? You can order a dozen frozen pasteles! Senores, pero que emocion! Do you know how hard it can be to get Puerto Rican pasteles these days? They are not easy to make; this is a big deal.
Based in Brooklyn, New York
Home Beis offers recipes and spice blends created by Scherise Merritt. Home Beis’ organic spices are freshly hand-blended and sodium-free. And their shop also sells gorgeous kitchenware and other home goods. Perfect for gift ideas.
Due to high demand, they just sold out their spices but are restocking next week so pre-order now!
Breukelen Rub Spice
Based in Brooklyn, New York
Breukelen Rub is a family-owned spice company offering artisanal spice blends. The experienced Chef JD is the curator of Breukelen Rub’s spice blends. Check out their dry jerk seasoning and their Abuela’s Adobo. They also offer gift sets!
A Dozen Cousins
Ibraheem Basir’s kitchen growing up was a melting pot of his mom’s southern cooking and his Caribbean/Latinx neighbors’ culinary influences; an all too common cross-cultural fusion that occurs for many of us growing up in U.S. multicultural communities. This combined with his appreciation for eating natural foods, led to the creation of A Dozen Cousins.
A Dozen Cousins offers easy-to-prep authentic, wholesome, and nutritious foods like beans. And unlike Goya, without the GMOs/artificial flavoring.
The Spice Suite
Based in Washington DC
The Spice Suite is an interactive spice bar that features various blends and herbs from around the world, as well as infused cooking oils.
Today, the Spice Suite’s space has also become a “dream incubator and haven” having hosted over 400 FREE pop up shops for Black business owners. That’s because their space is free of charge for small business owners who want to host a pop-up shop. “This is our way of paying it forward and supporting fellow dreamers.” Amazing!
The owner, Angel, is a mom, home cook, activist, and educator who in 2015 “walked by a vacant storefront… and decided on the spot to turn it into a spice shop.”
Based in San Diego, California
Gisel Barrett & and her husband Edgar Flores are the founders of MAXA, a Mexican market that offers products made by Mexican and Mexican-American entrepreneurs using natural/organic ingredients. Their market aims to offer a wellness and community-oriented experience since their entrepreneurs incorporate a healthy approach while embracing Mexican tradition.
Be sure to check out their cactus jam with no added sugar!
Say goodbye to artificial ingredients, MSG, and other unnecessary fillers – because with Loisa you can buy organic sauces, spices (like adobo), and easy-to-make rice with beans! A much healthier alternative to Goya products.
Ask Your Elders!
Call up your mom or grandmother, and ask them for their recipes for dried seasonings which you can store in your pantry for years. Or if you prefer sofrito mixtures, you can blend a nice batch of your family’s recipe and then freeze it into cubes to use for the rest of the year! Easy peasy.
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