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Moving Tradition Forward- Quality over Quantity

Loisa

3. Good Health and Well-Being 5. Gender Equality 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

Overview

Loisa makes Latin seasonings such as sazon, adobo, and sofrito with clean organic ingredients. They provide access to products that contain no preservatives, artificial coloring, GMOs, etc. Their high-quality seasonings in addition to their dedication to elevating voices from the Latin community are what sets them apart from other brands.

Authors

Maria Padilla

Maria Padilla

Jerrold Aryeequaye

Jerrold Aryeequaye

School

St. John's University

St. John's University

Professor

Charles Wankel

Charles Wankel

Innovation

The innovation emerged because one day the co-founders, Kenny and Scott, were sitting around the dinner table with their families talking about food and started talking about how they love Latin food so much but the some of the products Kenny and Scott's wife’s family grew up with were not all that great for one's health. Most big brands that sell these Latin essentials today (sazon, adobo, and sofrito) are using cheaper quality ingredients and their products contain unnecessary fillers, MSG, and other ingredients. “We were in search of a better quality, honest brand that honored traditional Latin foods but couldn’t find one at the time, so we created it."

Scott and Kenny launched Loisa, originally Loma foods, in 2017. At first, they were both working full time but what eventually began as a passionate side hustle turned into Scott’s, the CEO of Loisa, full-time business and career. Kenny handled most of the data side of things while Scott handled the marketing and positioning of the products. “Later on, after being in business for a bit, we brought on Chef Yadira Garcia as our head chef, educator, and collaborator on our sofrito.”

“Our products are related to a sense of purpose/meaning because we are honoring the heritage and tradition of the Latin community while empowering others to have the option to choose their health first when buying products.”

Moving Tradition Forward- Quality over Quantity

Inspiration

For Scott, the inspiration to highlight the three Latin seasonings sazon, adobo, and sofrito, the staples of Caribbean Latin cuisine, came from the influence of his wife, Anna, whose family is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. “My wife grew up seeing her parents and grandfather use these ingredients in their meals...After becoming more health-conscious, we decided that we would start mixing our own blends, which led to the products that we have now,” Scott said.

They were inspired by their families, friends, loved ones etc., to create this opportunity to have this platform that shares the Caribbean's ancestral ways of cooking, and the types of stories passed down through these traditions. They're motivated to change the stereotypes around Latin food and provide their community with options for their families. They wanted people to have the choice to use products that weren’t going to affect their health in the end adversely.


Overall impact

The innovation in society has introduced Loisa into many homes and impacted those from the Latin community by making them feel seen and heard. Loisa’s impact includes contributing to the better well-being of its community by providing them with quality seasonings made with organic ingredients that don’t sacrifice health. Loisa also helps stimulate the US economy by providing jobs for those making the sofrito and other seasonings. Their organic adobo, sazón, and sofrito are all made right here in the U.S.

The brand as a whole also makes those of Latin descent feel seen and heard as they amplify stories of the Latin diaspora representing people of various mixed backgrounds. This is important because when people feel validated like this they’re able to be more productive members of society because they feel like they have a community.

Another part of their business model is that the brand donates 2% of proceeds every month to non-profit organizations fighting for systemic change in the social justice realm. Their innovation contributes to making the lives of their community better through these donations to local programs. Non-profits rooted in serving those less fortunate from the Latin community or NYC community, in general, are the main areas of focus right now. Figuring out ways to improve the lives of those in the Latin community and around them so that everyone has the opportunity to be a better person.

“We see the idea of elevating voices and people in their work from our community, that are likeminded in the ideals of business, as a core part of our growth As the more we grow the more voices we want to continue to amplify and elevate.”


Business benefit

During the pandemic, the business experienced exponential growth. “What helped us grow during the pandemic people were cooking more at home and choosing natural ingredients.” In addition, to that, there was a moment when Goya supported Trump in the summer of 2020. This led to Loisa experiencing a massive influx of support from the Latin community because those customers were looking for an alternative for their spices to buy after the boycotting of Goya for their leadership's political views. By being a socially conscious brand that supports the people and prioritizes healthy ingredients, they were able to grow in the moments that mattered most.

The growth seen in 2020 not only expanded Loisa's social media reach, increasing their follower growth by the thousands overnight, but also increased their sales selling out relatively quickly as well. The success of Loisa's organic sazon and adobo led to the launch of more products such as their signature Sofrito and 12- pack spice box. With several investors on board and strong consistent messaging as a brand, there is only room for more growth.

Social and environmental benefit

Loisa's products are made across the U.S. in different factories that are thoroughly vetted. They promote the UN goal of decent work and jobs for people by making large quantities of seasonings that require a lot of hands-on decks to produce. Additionally, Loisa uses recyclable cardboard packaging and puts its spices in glass jars which makes them last longer as well.

Another part of their business model is that the brand donates 2% of proceeds every month to non-profit organizations fighting for systemic change in the social justice realm. Their innovation contributes to making the lives of their community better through these donations to local programs. Loisa chooses to support non-profits rooted in serving, those less fortunate from the Latin community or NYC community, for right now. Loisa tries to contribute in ways that improve the lives of those around them so that more people have the resources and opportunities to improve and succeed in their own lives.




Interview

Scott Hattis, CEO

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Loisa

Loisa

New York, NY, US

Business Website: https://Loisa.com

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

In this day and age of favoring mass production and profit prioritized over humans, Loisa is a Latin spice company focused on putting quality and care into all of its products as they work towards changing the negative narrative and notion that Latin food is unhealthy. Loisa’s products are made with organic ingredients, contain no-GMOs, and are preservative-free.