Elsy Dinvil started her company, Creole Me Up, in 2017 to bring a taste of her native Haiti to Portland.
Pikliz, one of the country’s most popular dishes, is served with almost anything. The mix of cabbage, carrots, onions, peppers and other ingredients in a tangy, spicy brine is served at barbecues, at weddings or at any kind of get-together. “A Haitian party without pikliz ain’t a Haitian party,” Elsy says.
Elsy has bottled the condiment and called it Pickleez, which comes in three variations of spiciness: For the Wimps, With Little Sass, Whole Lot of Sass. There’s also a version with purple cabbage, Sassy in Purple. “Pickleez can be eaten straight from the jar with a fork, or on the side of a plate to add a twist to any dish that needs a boost,” she says.
Elsy sought to mimic her mother’s recipe in making Pickleez. She grew up cooking with her mother, and Elsy credits her as an inspiration. “From our pickled product to our marinades and our cocktail mixes, my mother’s train of thought and her cooking tips tie in to perfect the end product,” she says.
After Elsy experienced some health problems from food allergies, she wanted her products to be free of most allergens, such as diary, eggs, gluten, soy and corn. The products are also free of additives, preservatives and processed sugars.
As her business has grown, Elsy has enjoyed the opportunity to work with Market of Choice. “Our experience with Market of Choice has been amazing,” she says. “I find MOC continuously focused on promoting the vendors and actively supporting their businesses. We love MOC.”