The story behind Aji Gourmet Products is very unique and personal. We love to share this story as it reminds us how we started as a small family business, to growing as a household brand across Canada.
It all started with the Aji Guacamole.
A family of 4 from Colombia had just settled into Canada. Shortly after their move, the kids were joining community activities, with their favourite being hockey (except Allison's at first). The community was extremely welcoming and generous to this new immigrant family. As Dyana remembers, "It was a very exciting time. We learned a lot. We laughed a lot."
At the end of the season, Dyana and Carlos were invited to a parent get together. Dyana was recommended to bring the guacamole - but shockingly Dyana had never made guacamole before. While mashing the avocados, Dyana saw a bottle of Aji condiment, a speciality in Colombia and South America. She decided to mix it in with the avocados and took it to the get together.
"I was shocked, people were just blown away. They were actually licking the bowl!" - Dyana
With this, Dyana's guacamole became such a hit, she was told to start selling it.
The whole family became dedicated to making Dyana's vision come true. Dyana would prepare the sauce, and hand it over to the "family production line", who would then bottle and seal the product, and finish it off by placing "Made in Canada" stickers and hand made labels on the bottles.
"I'd buy the big bag of onions and my dad and I would sit in the kitchen and peal onions" - Dyana
Since then, Aji has grown to being sold in stores across Canada and west coast USA. What started as a guacamole mix, has quickly become a product line of 10 different sauces and condiments to enjoy with every meal! Dyana's story was a vision turned reality.
To hear it in her own words, check out the video below: