Written by 4:35 pm Food

Taste it!

Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards judge Victoria Colahar enjoys her fried chicken and biscuit with Tooksie’s Ain’t That Honey. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Principal(s): Alexa Von Strolley & Loraine Von Strolley

E-mail Address: info@tooksies.com

About us:

Tooksie’s got here to life in March 2020, firstly of COVID. I at all times played with the concept of leaving clients with ‘only a tooks’ of Tooksie after we catered for them, a bit of keepsake; a bottle to remind them of the daring flavours that’s Tooksie.

We began with our Hot Truff – White Truffle-infused fermented Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce. It is a fiery but sweet hot sauce with sophisticated flavours of truffle. I felt adamant about putting out an area product with elevated flavours. I believe this does just that! It highlights the sweetness in addition to the addicting flavours of the Scotch bonnet with a subtle hint of truffle flavour.

My mind is at all times moving, so naturally I create new products every month! I hate salad, so my next task was to tackle salad dressings. Then we moved on to marinades, dips, BBQ sauce, pepper jelly, and, Scotch bonnet-infused salts.

We now have a line of 18 products, and we’re not seeking to decelerate.

The range of new products:

• Hot Truff — White Truffle-Infused Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce

• Sesame Please! — Roasted Sesame Dressing

• Sweet Pucker — Lemon & Agave Dressing

• Miso Marinade — Sweet no salt needed marinade, basting sauce, dipping sauce

• Ginger Me — Vegan Ginger Dressing

• Hot Truff Aioli — We would have liked some hot truff love for our sandwich lovers

• Pass de Scotchie — Passionfruit Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jelly

• Ain’t That Honey — Rum & Scotch Bonnet-Infused Honey because we’re all about having our drinks and eating too.

• Hot Mother Truffler — Truffle & Scotch Bonnet Sea Salt

• Every Ting Scotchie — Scotch Bonnet-Infused The whole lot Bagel Seasoning

• Aunty Kerry’s Spicy Table Sauce — We needed to pay homage to our first teacher and the chef who continues to encourage and help us, my Aunty Kerry — this sauce is nice on all the pieces!

• Bae-becue — Sweet BBQ sauce

• Took-Fil-A — Our BBQ honey mustard sauce

• Bittersweet — not all sweet and sour sauces must be eww

• Soymate — Our Asian Meat Marinade, perfect for skewered vegetables, shrimp, chicken, pork, beef, you name it

• The Johnny we created as a present to my dad this past Father’s Day — Our Rum-Infused Jerk BBQ Sauce. It was a challenge to create a sweet but spicy sauce and in fact alcohol included, sweet with quite a punch of warmth and stuffed with every kind of Jamaican flavours!

• Goodness Sake — Sake-infused cream sauce – that is the cream de la crème of sauce! Light but elevated Japanese flavours!

• Thai me Down — Our Pad Thai Marinade & Sauce — easy, hassle-free Pad Thai in under half-hour every time you wish it!

Where the ingredients are sourced… Most of our ingredients are sourced locally, in fact not the specialty food items like truffle and flake salt, fish sauce, but our peppers, produce and sugar are all sourced locally. The specialty items are sourced from the US.

Our current retailers are… Butcher Block, The Collective — Montego Bay, Rainforest — Seafood Market Montego Bay, Rum & Raisin — Montego Bay, S Foods Supermarket, YS Falls, Jamaica Food & Drink Kitchen. We’re about to be within the CPJ and Sandal’s gift shops.

The story behind the packaging of the products… I believe food and cooking must be fun. I wanted the packaging to be brilliant but not too brilliant to lift someone’s mood, keep food sassy. But additionally keep the label easy.

I made these products because… I actually struggle to work out dinner, heck sometimes breakfast and lunch. Who desires to cook and clean up for greater than two hours within the kitchen? All of us have responsibilities and lives to live. But our food and what we put into our bodies shouldn’t suffer because there just aren’t enough hours within the day. Perhaps because I’m now a mom, I’m all about quick, easy and attractive. I am unable to spend the period of time within the kitchen that I used to while keeping our son alive, off the iPad, and entertained.

My products are versatile, easy to make use of, quick without lacking flavour!

My first breakthrough got here when… My mother went through two bottles of my Hot Truff in a single month! She is my harshest critic! I like her however the love she has for my Hot Truff still has me shook!!

The products became available to the general public in… With all the pieces I do Butcher Block is at all times right there to support me! January 2021 they stocked their store with our sauces.

Our core customers are… Butcher Block Barbican, mi love unu!! We restock this store if not weekly, then every other week.

In fact, now we have our regulars who order off our website and pick up directly from us or my house.

The response to the products has been… Unimaginable. I are inclined to continuously have that little devil on my shoulder doubting saying ‘are we sure?’ But people love the taste, versatility and ease of the products. They’re my babies, I’ve worked hard on them and other people love them!

My products are successful because… I became a chef because I used to be an exquisite eater, that was my mindset when eager about the Tooksie’s line, what do I “want” to make/eat and the way can I make it quicker/easier. I firmly consider this line is starting to fill that area of interest market.

I plan to grow the business to grow to be… International! In fact, I would like to at all times appeal to the Jamaican market, but I prefer to think there’s more to supply for Jamaican cuisine apart from jerk. Our palate is at all times why people love the food here, we love flavor and spice!

My major challenge is… In fact, our ever-increasing food costs! Ingredients is difficult to search out for a price that is sensible! Ohh. If there are any certified organic farmers reading this please reach out to me.

This issue stays and managing the raw material inventory is… Sometimes tough, especially in rainy season, just sourcing the peppers. We attempt to prep/freeze our raw materials as we receive them.

If I knew then what I do know now… I’d have began Tooksie’s a protracted time ago! But I’m a giant believer that God’s timing is at all times the correct time. I actually have a fantastic consultant, team and support system. I’m sure our son instilled a drive in me to achieve success greater than before.

Jamaicans should support my products because… We also support local, farmers and producers wherever we are able to. Some bottles are bought locally, labels are made locally. They taste good! We put a variety of thought, labor and, dare I even say, love in each product.

Award-winning caterer Alexa Von Strolley presents her Tooksie’s Ain’t That Honey (left) and Tooksie’s Hot Truffler to the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards committee. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Von Strolley’s offerings include (clockwise, from top) pork belly, avocado toast taco with beetroot cream, Brie en Croûte, panna cotta and fried chicken and biscuit (centre) (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards judges Pauline Edie (left) and Josina Jackson examine a bottle of Tooksie’s Ain’t That Honey. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Award-winning caterer Alexa Von Strolley explains the concept behind her Tooksie’s Hot Truffler label to Food Awards guest judge for the Best (New) Local Food Product Derrick Cotterell (centre), Food Awards chair Novia McDonald-Whyte and judge Maurice Sloley. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
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