In 2020, I was more deliberate about trying out products made in Liberia, especially products made by “new” Liberian entrepreneurs and of the many I explored this year, these are my top picks in no particular order- and why.
Ginger Anana by Veda Ajavon
I grew up sipping ginger beer made by my grand mother. There aren’t many ginger drinks options and usually the canned imported ones are just sugary drinks. In this product I have found the perfect blend of a “home made feeling and taste”, natural sweetness (she sweetens with honey) and that zest that makes you say “aargh”!
Liberia Pure Honey
Since I discovered this honey, I have not bought any imported honey. And this has been for a few years now. Recently they introduced ne lines with cinnamon (which goes so well with tea and coffee) and garlic. They also sell coconut oil, chips, etc. their honey is cultivated by Liberian farmers around Liberia and its another reason I love their brand.
Pape Foods- Tea- by Jeyfne & Joe Togba
Moringa, bissap, lemongrass, etc. They have a variety of tea products on the market. I first encountered the brand in early 2020 and was intrigued about their products. I LOVE having their moringa & bissap mixed with Liberian Pure Honey.
Brisco – by Sangai Brisbine
Coffee! I love coffee and having a local brew I can savor knowing it was grown right here on Liberian soil, even more perfect! they have been championing the Liberica beans which is unique to Liberia. Check them out. They also have tea and other products such coffee tea (yep), chips, etc.
Perhaps to most recognizable local personal care brand. This year J-Palm scaled up and introduced a variety of products, most of which I have personally sampled. I LOVE their shea butter products and the new fragrance they have introduced. Besides bathing soap which they started off with, they now have shampoo, body wash, hair and body oil, face scrub, etc. their monthly combo box is the best. Like Liberia Pure, they also support small rural farmers and this gives an extra feeling of fulfillment every time I purchase their products. Buy Liberia, Build Liberia.
Creamy Crunchy Delight- Cakes, pastries and more! – By Michaleyn George.
I have watched this small business evolve and grow and in 2020, she introduced mini sweets boxes that makes the perfect family desert boxes for holidays and small intimate events. Each receipe is tested and executed with perfection, love and care. I typically stay away from cakes, but that combo box is just irresistible.
They make a variety of spirits and when I found out they make vodka I was intrigued. Vodka? Made in Liberia? Yes and Yes. Try their products, you just might get hooked and skip Absolut.
Henries Farms – By Ann Henries
I love Henries Farms products so much I volunteered and declared myself brand ambassador.
Ann makes candles, soaps, dried fruits, jams, gift bags, body butter, etc. In 2020 her line of products expanded and I have thoroughly enjoyed sampling each and exploring a variety of self-care and luxury products. The fact that most of her products also comes organically fresh from her farm makes it feels even more like the Liberian phrase “from God, to man”.
I rarely ever now have to buy imported scented candles. Her fragrance is rich, the colors are vivid and her packaging are all top notch.
Elle Foodie – By Rochelle Bannerman
She makes beautiful baskets that serves both as art and useful storage. Be it a coffee table top basket to place your tea and coffee in, or perfume tray, or just an art décor. I got 3 and turned 2 into lovely desktop flower holders and used one for my condiments basket. They actually make nice gifts.
The Flower Pot- By Jefyne & Lovetta
What is there not to like about this business? Women owned, natural flowers, easily available.
This business was birthed during COVID19 lockdown and as someone who loves flowers I was immediately drawn to what they were doing. Their plants now grace my office and home. They do wreaths, gift floral arrangements, bouquets, landscaping, etc.
Montserrado Meats- by Tolbert
I got drawn first to the business from their corn. They grow the best corn I have eaten on the continent. I used to look forward to them restocking the freezer at Stop & Shop. When I found out it was Liberian owned, I was hooked. Then I got introduced to their smoked bacon. Then sausage. Oh la la! I have refused to buy imported bacon since I tried theirs. If you are a bacon lover, please try their smoked bacon. Thank me later.
Kala Mix- by Cornelius & Sharon Poneys
In my opinion, kala should be declared a national delicacy. Seriously. Now, most of us tend to buy our kala from local street vendors and love kala, but have always have hesitation with “street food”. In comes Kala Mix. Much like a pancake mix, all you need to do is add water, wait, pour, fry eat.
This reduces the hassles of guessing measurements and worrying about eating street food. Their products comes in several flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, plain.
J&A Delicacies – by Brenda & Ransford Moore
Wait, wait, you thought I would leave my product out? Haha. Nope!
Anyway, J&A was birthed from the love for snails, and the desire to have them all year round and conveniently available. Snails are seasonal and so they are in abundance in the rainy season and scarce in the dry season. You also have to put in time to clean them…which can be messy. In comes… J&A Delicacies. We are proud to be the couple that placed cleaned processed snails on the shelves of major supermarkets in the country. We offer seasoned oven baked, fresh frozen and barbecue snails and you can find the fresh frozen snails at several locations around Monrovia.
Virgin red oil – By Emery Cooper
When red oil meets class. In a bottle. Glass bottle.
Yep. My first glance of the oil and I assumed it was red wine. Then I saw it being poured on rice. So clear, clean. I needed to try it. Now I am hooked. It is perfect for Liberian “dry rice” and best part is that it has no sticky aftertaste like some bottled red oil.
Aago Oil – By The Sendolos
What’s made in Liberia? Aago Oil. No scent, does not “sleep” and is reasonably priced. We use a lot of vegetable oil to cook in Liberia and to know that a local couple deiced to tap into this market was encouraging. They had some hiccups in 2020 with production so I am anxiously looking forward to their product being back on shelves. Every time I have to buy imported vegetable oil these days I literary cringe.
Mama Jet Spices –
Local seasoned pepper, country spices, a blending of various spices to obtain a unique combination. I have tried several of their spices and my best hands down is their seasoned pepper spice. Try it.
John’s St. Paul Rum- by John T. Richardson
I don’t drink rum but have enjoyed buying the rum as gifts for friends. Then I tried their coconut flavor. Now I am looking for John’s St. Paul rum as gifts. Recently he partnered with June Carey and they make these really beautiful hand painted bottles which makes them even more endearing.
The rum is nice. The packaging is nice. The price is nice. What’s not to like?
Pur Water – by Amin Modad
Pur Water is one of the few Liberian owned bottled water companies. It tastes just as fresh as any imported water and when available, is my preferred water to purchase. I am hoping that with 2021, we will see it in more stores and other Liberian owned businesses as well.
DH Fragrances – By Deddeh Howard Howe
Although not made IN Liberia, it is made by a Liberian I know. And as someone who adores scents and all things aromatherapy, I was eager to try out her candles when she launched her product in 2020. I love the vibrancy of the scents, the burning time and the fact that some of her candles can actually be used as a massage oil! yep. Check out her store online.
I have enjoyed exploring these products in 2020 and look to continue using them in 2021 and exploring new ones as well. This is not a paid ad and was done to share information with others on the growing range of items being locally produced by Liberians in Liberia.
Photo credit for MADE In Liberia: vector stock images culled from https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/made-in-liberia-vector-9521131