F&F Grants 2023 | Savannah Campbell
Sep 1, 2023 11:41:33 AM • Viva Wittman
Meet Savannah Campbell, an F&F Entrepreneurship Grant recipient whose brand, Caribe & Co., delivers the taste of the West Indies in the form of artisanal culinary syrups. Mix them into coffee, cocktails or seltzer, drizzle them over pancakes…however they’re enjoyed, they’re powerful vessels of transportive, tropic-evoking flavor. I.e. They pack a lot of punch.
Options like Creme Caramel and Chocolate Rum Cream fulfill those standard sweet-tooth cravings. And the Sorrel & Ginger syrup, which Savannah describes as a more niche Caribbean flavor, hits the spot when you’re looking for something equal parts tart and spicy (more on that later). Each is made using whole ingredients steeped in pure cane sugar syrup—no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives added ever! The result: clean, fresh-tasting flavors across the board.
Savannah’s one of those rare examples of people who knew exactly what they wanted to do all their lives and went on to do exactly that thing. She wanted to be a chef from the time she was nine, and early lessons from her mother on preparing classic Jamaican dishes had a lasting influence on her career to come. She attended a vocational high school where she was able to focus on cooking, followed by Johnson & Wales—where she earned degrees in Culinary Arts and Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship.
As many can attest to, the restaurant industry isn’t famous for being peaceful, and, after working for a while in the field, Savannah began to experience some real burnout. But instead of disillusioning her, it prompted her to get creative in thinking of other pursuits she could apply her skills to. “I knew food and creating would always be my passion, but the repetitive grind of restaurants was no longer working for me,” she wrote in her grant application.
So in early 2022, Caribe & Co. was born. Savannah saw her culinary syrups as a way to share the vibrant flavors of her heritage, which deeply informed her work from a young age, in an approachable way for wider consumers to enjoy. After months of conceptualizing and recipe testing, she sold her first bottle that September. And guess where she got her start…
Longtime Feast & Fettle members may know we were based out of Hope & Main for our first three years! With fully outfitted commercial kitchens and rotating community classes, this incredible incubation space led by Lisa Raiola was integral in our success journey. We were long established in our East Providence location by the time Savannah entered the scene, but we were pretty excited to see that she brought Caribe & Co. to life on our old stomping grounds.
We went out to Hope & Main to meet her, and she shared a little more about her brand-building process. In her application, she touched on how she’s had to wear a lot of hats. And in person, we learned that not only does she do all her own sourcing and marketing, she built her (gorgeous) e-commerce website herself, using YouTube tutorials. We got to try the Sorrel & Ginger syrup in seltzer form. And people: Get in on this. Mixed with sparkling water, the flavor was crisp and refreshing, and not overly sweet—although of course you can adjust the ratio to your liking. The ginger gave it a gentle bite, contrasting the bright notes of the sorrel (or hibiscus). And now we’ve got a new unique craving to satisfy…
These days, with her syrups in four stores around Rhode Island, Savannah is looking to expand her wholesale account base, as well as see more creatives work with her product. “I would love to see mixologists create killer cocktails with my syrups,” she said. (For the record, we are also very interested to try whatever crops up in this department.) She’s also looking for more ways to reach customers through getting involved with farmers markets and making her products available online.
To support Caribe & Co. right now, give them a follow on social media, check out that gorgeous website for yourself, and load up your cart with syrups. Not sure what to try first? The Sampler Pack gets you 50 ml of each flavor. And if you’re a buyer for a bar, cafe, or market, check out the wholesale tab in the site menu.
Because if you ask us, Savannah’s syrups are pretty damn good. So we surprised her with a giant check for five thousand dollars.