For today’s guest post, I am featuring someone that is an entrepreneur, sustainable traveler, and is hungry for exploring social issues and community development.
Currently living in Barbados (super jelly!), Malou enjoys learning about the local businesses that surround her and volunteering with a number of organizations.
Keep reading to learn more about her amazing life and how she supports local!
What made you interested in supporting local and why?
Since moving back to Barbados a few years ago and starting my own companies, I’ve become more aware of local products and supporting local businesses. I work with Slow Food Barbados, and supporting local is one of the pillars of the movement. We host an annual #SlowSeven challenge to eat 100% local food for one week, so I became more aware about supporting local beyond the food on my plate. We also produce an annual Buyer’s Guide to help people source local food.
Supporting Local is not only very practical in a small island but it has quite a profound ripple effect. In Barbados we tend to have this perception that something from ‘overseas’ is better than something local, but so many MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) are proving that that is definitely not the case. While Barbados is largely a service-providing country right now, we’re still just a generation away from being a nation of producers. The question is: what economic framework will help us reclaim those skills and that potential? Supporting local is a step towards reaching that potential. Finding out about local products, businesses and services isn’t always easy and many businesses depend on word of mouth recommendations to raise their profiles in Barbados, so I started an annual, local gift guide to make it easier for both locals and visitors to the island to support local during the holidays. You can see my 2017 Barbados Local Gift Guide here.
As a young Barbadian I feel a sense of duty to try to positively influence my home and be a part of a sustainable future.
Where are your favorite places to go eat, shop and drink coffee?
I’m not much of a shopper, but I enjoy pop up events, markets and wandering around Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. My favourites include:
– The beautiful Always Summer boutique
– Something Samarah is one of my favourite local designers (and good friend!), who makes the most beautiful porcelain jewellery (She also does international orders)
– Aimee St.Hill is a local textile designer who makes women’s fashions and home accessories
I wrote a blog post listing the best coffee spots in Barbados and I’m always up for trying new food. My favourites include Coffee Barbados and Surfer’s Cafe.
Bajan cuisine is a mixture of African, Indian, Irish, Creole and British influences. Every dish is bursting with flavour, thanks to lots of fresh seasoning. The national dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou and fried Flying Fish with spicy gravy. Another traditional meal, and a local favourite, is “Pudding and Souse” which is pickled pork with spiced sweet potatoes. Pudding & Souse, known simply as ‘souse’, is a traditional Saturday lunch for many Barbadians, also known as ‘Bajans;. The souse is essentially pickled pork and the “pudding” is steamed sweet potato. Traditionally souse was made using all of the ‘features’: the pig trotters (feet), ear, snout and tongue. I prefer to use lean pork meat instea with very little pepper. The pudding is traditionally served in a casing of pig intestines [similar to British Black pudding] but these days that’s pretty rare to find. In general, I prefer to eat pickled octopus (called ‘Seacat’ locally) personally, as I find the pork a bit too ‘meaty.’ We then wash it all down with some rum punch or our local beer, Banks.
Luckily, my boyfriend is a great cook so we eat at home quite often, experimenting with different ingredients, such as lionfish, or adding a local twist to a new recipe we’ve found online. When we go out, we usually go to Artsplash Cafe for breakfast, Open Kitchen with a group of friends, Castaways for fresh seafood overlooking the water, or local barbecue spots like East Point Grill, which sits atop a cliff and has a beautiful view of (you guessed it) the East coast of Barbados.
Where are you from and a little bit about yourself.
I’m a half Bajan/half Dutchie island girl who was bitten by the travel bug at a very young age. I grew up in the Caribbean, studied in England, China & Holland and am now currently based in Barbados navigating life as a twentysomething. Currently, I run two businesses (a digital marketing company and a babysitting agency) and a volunteer platform.
My passions include all things social (in both the digital and the community and development sense of the word), sustainable travel and the ocean. I love exploring new cities and countries, and my boyfriend and I often plan our trips around food and diving.
Um, can we say incredible?! Malou has generously provided insight of her love for local and the views that she gets to see everyday. If you haven’t subscribed to her blog, then what are you waiting for? I’m pretty sure I know where you are headed for your next trip.
Ever since I started my guest posts, I have learned so much from each and every one of my guests and I hope you have too!
P.S. Want to collaborate? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org