BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
Authentic, natural and flavourful are three things that are definitely guaranteed when you think about the mouthwatering flavours of Caribbean cooking. The spicy kick of delicious Jamaican jerk chicken or the tangy sweet and sour flavours of a savoury mango chutney carry a taste so distinct I bet you, you’re probably salivating just thinking about it!
Jacqui T recalls childhood memories of her mother bustling around in the kitchen, their home filled with the sweet smelling aromas of her mothers cooking and the anticipation of waiting to filling her belly with every last delicious morsel of food. Waiting outside the kitchen window alongside her siblings with the scents and smells drifting over them, on many occasions they had to fight the urge to run into the kitchen and devour the food straight from the pot!
Food has always played an important part in Jacqui’s life, as she watched her mother dedicate a lot of time and effort to make each dish something to remember. In addition to time spent, her mother poured her love and passion for cooking into every creation. One of the most important aspects of Caribbean food is the distinct sharp, spicy and savoury flavours achieved by the beautiful combination of many aromatic herbs and spices. Her mother’s specialty was her unique Jerk Sauce something that carried a taste that no other jerk seasoning could compare.
As she got older, her mother shared the secrets of her kitchen with her, including how to make her famous Jerk Sauce. Her own passion for cooking flourished over time and soon she was able to prepare her own dishes using the recipes passed down by her mother for her own friends and family to enjoy. After many years of cooking with her mother’s Jerk Sauce Jacqui would host and entertain friends. They enjoyed the authentic flavours of her Jerk Sauce so much that they suggested she bottle it and consider sharing it with more people.
Taking their suggestions to heart Jacqui decided to look into it. She started making it for friends and family until it became so popular that orders kept pouring in and it was hard for her to keep up! Jacqui branded the sauces in honour of her mother Iris, inspired by all of the Caribbean dishes she made gaining a reputation of knowing how to make the “good sauce” whether it was Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat or Stew Chicken, her seasoning is really what made each meal memorable.
Iris Backayard Sauces takes great pride in producing an authentic, natural and flavourful Jerk Sauce. They do not use any artificial flavouring, colouring or preservatives. It takes nineteen different ingredients to make their sauce and they reflect the very same herbs and spices that Iris used all those years ago when she first discovered this blend. Jacqui is proud to offer this unique sauce to consumers and are positive that foodies will relish it as much as they do.
“I know that once you taste this Jerk Sauce you will understand where my passion comes from and my desire to share it with you,” shares Iris. Iris Backayard Sauces offers authentic Canadian produced Caribbean sauces in Authentic Jerk and Mango Tamrind Chutney. Their tangy blend leaves your mouth “sweating” for more with ingredients that include: Herbs & Spices, onions, garlic, tomato paste, sugar brown, soya sauce, honey, spring onions, scotch bonnet peppers, white wine vinegar, salt, olive oil, and lime juice.
Iris Backayard Sauces are great to use as pre-seasoning or on top of any meal to add a little zesty flavor to your taste buds. These natural, gourmet products have no added preservatives and they are packed with just the right amount of Caribbean for everyone to enjoy.
“The thing about my mother is that she never weighed anything when it came to adding ingredients to her pot,” shares Jacqui. “That’s how I learned how to cook, without measurements, but in order to meet the standard I’ve had to bring her recipe down to an approximation of what she taught me.”
As with most small businesses we hope that sharing our ideas with others will expand our brand and bring our visions to fruition, however sometimes that’s not the case. Early on in their process, trying to spread the word of their new brand, they ran into some unfortunate challenges where because they hadn’t trademarked the brand, a marketing company ripped off their ideas, and copied it for their own benefit. For them it was a learning process, it kept them on high alert when it came to making decisions for the future. They advise others going into their own business to make sure to trademark their brand to ensure this doesn’t happen to them.
Iris Backayard Sauces is available in thirty-five stores across the GTA. They are looking to expand, adding even more tasty sauces to their lineup. Currently in the works Jacqui is working on a BBQ Sauce, dabbling in some sweeter sauces and also jams. “My British Caribbean background has helped to educate me on the different flavor combinations, especially with the Indian influence in the Chutney,” says Jacqui.
Iris Backayard Sauces isn’t only about making good sauces for profit. Jacqui is very involved in giving back to local charities, investing her time volunteering and lending a helping hand where she can. They’ve partnered with a charity called High Adventure Gospel Ministries that does work in Uganda to help train war abductee orphans at a vocational school. They work helping to set them up in their own businesses to support themselves. Aside from cooking Jacqui’s first trade was as a hairstylist. She used those skills to educate women in Uganda so they can open up their own salons in the villages where they are from. Jacqui also volunteers in the largest woman’s shelter in the Bronx, New York. She helps to raise their spirits by giving them makeovers and teaching Zumba.
While Iris Backayard Sauces is on it’s way to becoming a full-time job, Jacqui hopes to use the fruits of her business to give back to her first passion of helping people, taking mission trips and working closely with charities to make the world a better place.
Iris Backayard Sauces can be found on Facebook and Instagram, where they share different dinner ideas utilizing their sauces in creative ways to make every meal a Caribbean party. They are currently working on getting their online distribution up and running while setting up at markets and food festivals across the GTA. Discover the authentic taste of the Caribbean with Iris Backayard Sauces. Dinner won’t ever be the same!