EARTH graduates are characterized by their ability to find new ways to innovate and differentiate themselves within various markets. This time we bring you the story of two of them, who each used the resources they had on hand to create unique combinations and achieve success in their businesses.
Calle Cimarrona: indigenous and delicious.
Federico Zamora (‘10, Costa Rica) first began fermenting honey and nuts through a course held at the University. Today, he owns an artisanal beer company called “Calle Cimarrona” (Cimarron Street).
Within the company he works with his older brothers and father. Their main approach is to use both local and indigenous ingredients. “We want our beers to be characterized by being a product of quality and not quantity, therefore we are focused on them always having a clean and fresh taste rather than the alcohol content,” says Federico.
Currently, they are working on a project to maximize the use of local ingredients and use them not only for taste but also for their microbiological features that can add more complex qualities to the beer.
Some of these unique combinations include orange, corn, rice, blackberry, hibiscus, star fruit, tamarind, passion fruit, coriander seed, rosemary, mint, cardamom, guava and strawberry, among others.
Regarding his studies at EARTH, Federico told us that “I never thought of studying something that had me within four walls every day, and that decision left me two choices after finishing school: Biology or Agronomy. I have managed to implement many things that I learned in college, not only on the administrative business side but also in the mechanical, social, environmental, and chemical aspects”.
For now, he is focused on making his business grow, which is a full-time job.
You can visit Cimarron Street, in Barrio San Jose Curridabat, Costa Ricaor follow them on social networks.
Ricante: delicious and spicy.
In 2011, Debbie Lohan Palacios (‘11, Costa Rica) spent her weekends visiting her boyfriend who happened to be a chef. In Guanacaste, where she is from, mangos are abundant so he dedicated himself to blend with hot peppers, seeds Debbie brought from a tour. There, Ricante was born, a mixture of hot sauce and fruits native to the area.
Royce Mitchell AKA Ricky Ricante is now her husband and the creator of Ricante’s unique flavors. Together they created and developed the company, with a combination of her knowledge from EARTH and his culinary skills and entrepreneurship. They began selling locally until the point that the kitchen of their house was not enough to keep up with demand.
The flavors that are now available include OG Mango Caliente, Fire Melons, Pina Dulce, Manzana Encendida and Chipotle Bueno.
When the University came to visit her secondary school she knew that this was her opportunity, and Debbie believes she came to EARTH as “a matter of fate.”
Courses in food processing, chemistry and marketing were the basis of the development of Ricante’s hot sauces. “Plus the social and environmental tools provided to me by EARTH and we have reflected them in our company from the beginning.” Debbie says.
Debbie is currently working on developing several projects, such as an organic mango plantation (its main ingredient) in Guanacaste and entering the US market.
Ricante is in all stores, souvenir shops of Café Britt located in Costa Rica as well as in the international airport. You can also find them in stores and independent supermarkets along the coastal areas; and in the central part of the country they can be found in Green Centers in Santa Ana and Curridabat and soon in the AM PM’s and Fresh Market’s located in the more metropolitan areas.
You can also contact them directly on there website www.ricante.com.
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