SOME LIKE IT HOT: "You're getting sweet, hot and spice in one product," says Matie Sauce founder Lloyd Sterling, pictured below.
WHAT: Matie Sauce Jamaica line of products
WHO: Lloyd Sterling and company
The Christmas season is when many culinary artists come up with their best new ideas, and Lloyd Sterling is no exception. One year Sterling, who ran a bustling Kingston restaurant with his mom Mary Brown, decided to experiment with a few tropical fruits and spices to come up with a fresh flavour to add to the range of sauces he usually served his family at dinnertime and his loyal restaurant customers.
“It came down to guava and another fruity flavour, but my mother was allergic to the other flavour, so I decided to stick with guava. I didn’t want to create a product that she wouldn’t be able to use,” explains Sterling, a family man who clearly spends a lot of time in his kitchen. “So this really came out of a desire to create my own product that my family and customers can enjoy.”
That was in 2001. By 2008, Matie Sauce officially entered the market, and within six years, Sterling’s small-scale exploits had mushroomed into a full-fledged company that was incorporated in August of 2014.
But why the name Matie Sauce? “We wanted to use a name that captures the Jamaicanness of the product. And a name like that is instantly recognizable,” says Sterling, who closed down his restaurant business in 2004 as his new venture was taking off. “Matie Sauce stands out from the other products on the market.”
In addition to the main attraction, Guavaliciously Irie (an all-natural guava-based sauce), Sterling’s line also includes Peppa Di Pot (scorching hot peppers flavoured with white cane vinegar, garlic and onions), the Orange BBQ sauce (a tomato-based sauce flavoured with oranges and locally grown spices) and a jerk seasoning (made to order so as to maintain freshness and potency). “Our products are an alternative to the more traditional condiments. We bring something fresh to the table,” says the businessman. “You’re getting sweet, hot and spicy in one product.”
As Sterling tells TALLAWAH, his growing number of customers can’t get enough of the tantalizing flavours. “The response has been encouraging. The products are all-natural, no gluten, no starch, so persons on gluten-free diets can use it quite comfortably,” he explains. “People comment all the time on how versatile the products are.”
With plans for islandwide distribution being finalized, Matie Sauce products are on sale at select supermarkets and gift shops in and around the Corporate Area, and can be purchased directly from the manufacturers, who are based at 40 Chisholm Avenue in Kingston.
Looking ahead, Sterling says he and his hardworking team are intent on taking Matie Sauce to the world. “The main reason we decided to commercialize the product is because of a desire to export,” says the proprietor, who met with potential buyers at Expo Jamaica last month, who expressed interest for their markets in the UK, USA and Canada. “That is something we are actively working on, so we are seeking investment to achieve that goal.”
> Buy local! You can contact Matie Sauce Jamaica and Lloyd Sterling at 825-2592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.