Herbs and Spice, and everything nice has allowed Chef Libby Vidrine to create one of the best kept cuisine secrets in Belize, Central America. Originally from Louisiana, USA, Libby worked at different restaurants in the Eastern Caribbean, and attended The University of Virgin Islands in St Thomas.
After being exposed to Caribbean flavors and spice combinations of the Maya, Mexican, Creole, Garifuna, and Guatemalan cultures, she has successfully captured the exotic essence of the Caribbean. In 2008, Vidrine became a mother and relocated to the wilderness of Belize with her three-month-old son for a simpler, cleaner life. Being an entrepreneur, Libby also became a Founder, launching her own home-bottling company titled, “Caribbean Spice Belize”.
Back in 1998, Libby underwent cooking hassles at her restaurant, unable to find a wide variety of seasonings and spice blends.
“I then started blending my own spices. First I made my version of Caribbean Creole Seasoned Salt, Blackened Seasoning, and lastly, Jamaican Jerk. While working at my own Mango’s Restaurant in 1999, I created around ten different season blends.” said Libby. “Though many ingredients including allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg are available in other parts of the world, the climate and nutrients in the soil here give Caribbean herbs and spices their unique characteristics.”
Choosing to remove all artificial additives and flavors, Caribbean Spice Belize products are 100% Belizean-made, with a combination of fresh ingredients from Libby’s garden and fresh produce from local farmers’ markets. She has now evolved her business from ten to over 140, all-natural, organic products. From habanero paste, fruit butters, flavored raw honey, spice blends, seasonings, sea salt blends, mustards, marinades, vinegars, salad dressings, barbeque sauces, michelada mix and gourmet cooking sauces, many being Gluten Free.
Caribbean Spice Belize caters to all palates! And many Top Chefs use her products everyday.
Libby’s hand crafted products are currently being sold at 12 Belize and The Greenhouse in San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye as well as her own shop in Belize City. As a business owner, she has encountered several stumbling blocks.
“I have been to so many stores around Belize and the islands that just refused to carry my products. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for Evelia at the Greenhouse. She believed in me and carried every single one of my products. Ian Anderson at The Farm House Deli was also a huge help.
In Belize City, Libby’s store offers over 30 taste samples every day for people to try, and locals can get up to 20% off on all her products. Her full line is also now available at all Farm House Deli locations. She also does wholesale and retail sales on her website at www.caribbeanspicebelize.com. Libby is currently exporting her unique products to the UK, USA, Mexico, Central and South America and the rest of the Caribbean Islands.
Recently, Libby has decided to return to her hometown in the USA to be able to share her flavor filled spice blends at home and throughout the world with her stateside company Caribbean Belize. Kudos to Chef Libby as she allows Caribbean Spice Belize and Caribbean Belize to infuse The Best of Belize into your own kitchen and your Caribbean inspired meals!