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Paulina Valencia - Fea
Published on May 9, 2016 by admin

Paulina Valencia - Fea

When you see the Brand Fea in supermarkets across the island you can be sure that the product is filled with healthy local goodness.

It all started when an Ecuadorian living in Barbados wanted to continue to lead a healthy lifestyle, but found an absence of products on the supermarket shelf. That was Paulina Valencia over five years ago.  She saw a gap, she sought to fill that gap and the rest is history.

“All my life I worked in the hospitality business, I have always liked working with food and people. When I came to Barbados a while ago I had a dream to have my own brand name and a few years ago I thought it was time to do something about it. I felt the island had enough resources to supply what we needed and so 90% of our ingredients are sourced locally. There are no additives or preservatives - freshness guaranteed. Only when there is no local option do we source externally.

I have always been extremely health conscious, and as someone who entered marathons and lead a healthy lifestyle, when I think of a product to produce I look at what I would use. If I would not eat it I would not create it.  If  I think it is harmful for me  I also see it as so for others and that is why I will not create or put into my products anything I am not prepared to put into my own body. As a result we can guarantee our customers a truly healthy line of products designed with Barbadian flavours, for the Barbadian taste; and it has been going extremely well.”

“When we started out it was on a really small scale and definitely was not operated like a business; it was just something we did and our first products were vegetable and chicken samosas. After a little while we started looking for avenues in the supermarket arena where we could add value. This line then developed into the chicken liver pâté and sweet potato humus -  there was a need in the market, the products were different and not found in any supermarkets and once again the response was amazing. We often say that our mission is not to reinvent the wheel, our strategy has been simple; look for products which are missing on the supermarket shelves, which have curb appeal, grab that opportunity with two hands and fill the gaps.

Let’s take a look at our yogurt line for example. Our Brand Fea Yogurt, started with plain yogurts and again I must say when we started out the scale was very small and with limited options. Then 3 years ago when Pinehill closed that aspect of its operation, it created a void in the market and we seized the opportunity. We started with Greek yogurt and over the last three years we have developed and continue to add to our line of yogurts.  We have the plain unsweetened, Greek plain, Greek with coconut, banana, wild berries, mango, and pineapple as well as Greek plain with sugar.   We are very big on local flavours and a few of our products reflect that passion.  For example, when I came to Barbados I started drinking mauby and I find it a wonderful beverage; I see it as very unique to the region and so we took the time to develop that flavour in our yogurt line. We also capitalized on the Guava flavour and found a unique use for our local breadfruit where it is blended with orange and pineapple; the response to this has been quite good

While this range of products uses sugar we are also conscious of the diabetic sector of the population and for them we developed Fea Life.  This is our second yogurt brand and there are currently two flavours - Strawberry and French Vanilla; these are produced with stevia which is diabetic friendly. Goat milk yogurt is the next product in this line to be developed and we are currently going through the regulatory process to facilitate this.

We also produce a range of dips; we have the spinach and parmesan cheese, caramelized onions and veggie and feta cheese. These are great with crackers, breads, veggies and for a variety of other uses. So many people want to have a snack with no additives or preservatives and we facilitate this need. The products can be used for cooking, used as salad dressings and even as an alternative to sour cream.  It is healthy, fresh and less costly than sour cream.  Other specialties include our chutneys, roti skins and mini patties, which are made to order.

For BMEX 2016 we will be bringing goat cheese and our pepper sauce sachets.  We are very excited about the sachet aspect of the business as we are able to assist other businesses.  Using the sachets the consumer can now choose how much they want and the company can have better control. It also provides new packaging for better presentation and convenience.

We create healthy, appealing, affordable products which retail below the cost of imported products - and the quality is second to none.   My vision is a fair price in the market, good quality and good service.  I like my customers to be satisfied.

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