At first glance, Bazodee™ products scream festive and modern. Instantly, you’ll become curious about the flavor profiles and cause your friends to swoon over your hosting skills because you brought something new to the table. But when you look deeper into the makings of the Caribbean-inspired products, you'll see just how deeply rooted in tradition they truly are. Created by Debra Sandler to honor her mom and all of her sisters, Bazodee™ was launched to capture the essence of family through food.
Sandler grew up in a large West Indian and South American family. As a child growing up in Venezuela, one of Sandler's family memories includes making hallacas (a Venezuelan dish consisting of corn dough stuffed with a stew of beef, pork, or chicken and other ingredients) in the kitchen. “Someone would prepare the meat and someone prepared the corn and the leaves. It was always a family affair when the food became a true production,” Sandler says.
Women were always the leaders in the family when it came to food; secretly competing when they got together to see who was the best cook. However, it was her Aunt Mavis who consistently outshined everyone with her effortless talent and recipes.
Preserving Family Traditions and Recipes
Bazodee™ is Trinidadian for being head over heels for something or someone. Sandler wanted a fun and unique name that symbolized the family’s rich heritage. As the CEO of Mavis Food, LLC, Sandler’s mission is to share the many dishes created while growing up with the world, many created by the family star cook, Aunt Marvis.
“She didn't own a measuring cup or spoon. Passing on the tradition was always important to her, but the actual act of it was a challenge” she says. “There were concerns that these traditions would be lost, so I asked [Aunt Mavis] to be taught and I would sit there and follow and that's how it sort of came together.”
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It took two years to perfect the seasonings and complements that are now known as Bazodee™. Sandler's 35 years of experience in the food industry and daughter's foresight played a pivotal role in launching the brand sold online in 2018. Offerings include a Soca Sauce (a Caribbean pepper sauce), the Marvelous Marinade (a unique blend of green herbs and seasonings) and a Hot Hot Soca Sauce (a pepper sauce made with the Trinidadian Scorpion pepper). The 8.5 oz. jars sell for just $9.99. Recipes online to get customers started using the products include a shrimp ceviche and Bazodee™ chicken.
Sandler’s favorite sauce to use is the Marvelous Marinade which she keeps in her fridge pretty regularly. “Every day I use at least one of the sauces. But the most versatile of them is the marinade which you can use with beef, chicken, and it’s excellent with pasta,” she says.
Sandler looks forward to expanding the brand soon and continuing to share some of her aunt with the world. “It’s beyond her wildest dreams. It’s beyond anything she ever thought she would be affiliated with in her lifetime,” she says. It’s clear how important it is for her to continue learning from her aunt and how near and dear Bazodee™ is to her. Sharing the products and recipes publicly has purely been a labor of love and we can expect the launch of curry-based and tamarind-based products in early 2019.