March 17, 2015

Home Grown Fiery Sensation

Home Grown Fiery Sensation


Caribbean islands are known for having a harmless but heated rivalry over the production of hot sauce. The diverse condiment, often called pepper sauce, can range from a chutney-like mash to a smooth, liquid fire, depending on each island’s tastes and traditions. In Belize, Marie Sharp is synonymous with the fiery sauce, and with over 30 years in business, she is considered a homegrown sensation.

Before starting her company, Marie worked as an executive within the financial sector. In her spare time, she grew and sold peppers from her farm to a local distributor. However, what started as a hobby, quickly blossomed into something more.
“This company really happened by chance”, shared Marie. “I was supplying more than the buyer needed, so I decided to start making a pepper mash with the surplus.”

By 1981 Marie’s home creations had become so popular that she decided to turn the operation into an enterprise, and with the help of family and friends Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Limited was established. The company now employs 25 people and manufactures an assortment of habanero pepper sauces, tropical jams and jellies, seasoning, and fruit squashes for the local and international markets.

Home Grown Fiery Sensation


The CaFeatured imagenadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) is currently implementing a project in the Caribbean called Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project.

Funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and CHF, the aim is to increase the value of Caribbean fresh produce accessing high-value markets (HVM) in the Caribbean and internationally by CAD100 million 6 over six years.

CHF is requesting proposals from consultants to undertake four market studies: Barbados; OECS; Suriname; and Belize. The methodology for each study is similar, in order for PROPEL to analyze information across all studies. Individual Terms of Reference (ToR) for each have been prepared and are posted on the CHF website.


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Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Government of Canada and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
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