This small company was founded in 2009 by two young entrepreneurs with a big vision – to promote economic development in the villages from where their family comes. In the Huanuco region of Peru, most people cultivate and live off of the potato. But the market price for potatoes is quite low and instable, and thus it is difficult for villagers to move beyond subsistence conditions.
Violeta began by selling her mother’s artisanal sauco, or elderberry, marmalade in Lima while getting a higher education. Roger’s education landed him a job with a local non-profit working with villagers to produce elderberry wine. The two met and decided to take their work many steps further. By introducing both sauco and aquaymanto (goldenberry), both native species, to their communities, and training the farmers in organic cultivation methods, they have been able to increase the income to these families significantly. They purchase the resulting crops at fair prices and produce fruit spreads and other products for the national gourmet markets. And with Culinary Collective they hope to make inroads into the US market and thus expand their purchasing needs and ability to reach many more families.
The company works in association with two non-profits, Aprovif and Apacarma, and farmers in the communities of Huayllacán and Cancejos. They offer technical support to their farmers, organic certification, and a secure market. In addition, the reintroduction of these crops is helping to reverse deforestation in their communities.
Zocalo Elderberry & Goldenberry