Wabagari

...bringing you Garifuna culture and flavor

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About Wabagari

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Wabagari promotes the production, commercialization and export of flavored and natural cassava produced by the Garifuna communities of Honduras. The name “Wabagari” means "Our Life" in the Garifuna language. Below are our vision and mission statements:

  • Vision Statement: To be the largest producer and exporter of Garifuna cassava products to the United States, Latin America and Europe.
  • Mission Statement: To distribute a high quality cassava products to an international market, while generating income for Garifuna cassava bread producers of Honduras and raising awareness about Garifuna culture.

Wabagari was initially registered as the self-financed sole proprietorship of Lina Martinez in April 2002. That year, Lina, with the help of her three sons began to design the Wabagari products, trying out different flavors to be offered. Initially, products were sold to friends. However, in September 2003 we began to sell in small, open market in Tegucigalpa, which operates on the weekends. In 2004, Wabagari launched the O'Big Mama brand.

Invited by the Honduran Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Wabagari attended Expo Comida Latina held in New York in October 2004 and Los Angeles in September 2005. During the food expo people responded positively to the taste and quality of O’Big Mama cassava. Motivated by such positive feedback, Lina founded the Honduran Association of Women Cassava Producers, (AHPROCASABE),  a group of 20 families in La Union, Atlántida responsible of producing quality cassava bread. The building for the group opened in January 2006. In January 2007, representatives of the cassava growers and producers from Iriona, Colon came to visit and learn about how they could be part of Lina’s cassava export business. The result of this meeting was that the communities in Iriona began to provide cassava for Lina’s business.

Lina with Cassava Group

In January 2008, Wabagari began exporting products to New York, thanks to the support of Jose Francisco Avila, the president of New Horizon Investment Club, our first international client. The following year, Wabagari received the (Honduran) Presidential Export Award. In July 2011, Wabagari become a supplier for Wal-Mart Stores in Honduras. Today, O’Big Mama products can be found in the Wal-Mart-operated Despensas Familiares and Tiendas Paiz stores in the cities of Honduras.

In June 2012, Lina made the decision to convert Wabagari from a sole proprietorship to a limited liability corporation, owned by Lina and her 3 sons, Donald Arzu, Christian Alvarez and Mario Alvarez. She looks forward to transferring this work to the next generation. In July 2012, Wabagari became a supplier for the Grupo Comidas Especializadas and their restaurants, including Pizza Hut, KFC and Dennys. You can currently find cassava products in the salad bars at some of these restaurants. Wabagari looks forward to the opportunity for growth this new partnership provides.