Pisqueya [pis-keh-yah] is a celebration of Latin culture and a contribution to my family legacy. The line of all-natural, high quality food products, is inspired by the gap in Dominican representation, within the global food market. More than that, Pisqueya is a taste of home. Pisqueya is how I wish to inspire others to gather, laugh, break bread and create memories.
I am Maritza Abreu (she/ella), Founder and CEO, but you can call me Mari. Welcome to the family! I was born in New York City and my roots are deep in the rich soils of the Dominican Republic. Soy de aquí y de allá! I live by the values my parents taught me; family, love, community and passion.
My parents, Cristina and Eduardo – to whom I attribute my entrepreneurial spirit – migrated from the mountains of Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic to New York City in 1976. Like many who made the same sacrifice, they were led by a dream of a better future. They worked tirelessly to open a restaurant in their new American community. Puerto Viejo (old port), as it is called to this very day, soon became an extension of our animated family kitchen; where Brooklynites enjoyed the authentic flavors I had savored my entire childhood. The sounds of merengue and my mother’s laughter were the tres leche after each meal. Puerto Viejo was where my parents’ dream became reality, and where Pisqueya was born.
The original hot sauce recipe had been passed down for many years, through a line of family cooks. It wasn’t until I left my corporate role to lean into the family business, that I decided to personally respond to the needs of our patrons. Brooklyn wanted the sauce! I bottled the recipe in 2018 and named it Pisqueya, a portmanteau of PIcante (spicy in Spanish) and QuiSQUEYA [kis-keh-yah], the Taíno name for the island which comprises the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I sourced, cooked and tasted each batch myself. I even developed my own variations; medium buzz hot sauce and the passion fruit spicy sweet, while preserving the integrity of our family tradition. After all, I am not in the business of upsetting the elders.
Pisqueya has now expanded to Adobo seasoning blend, also rooted in a secret family recipe. The kitchens are bigger these days, but I continue to produce in small batches, using only the best ingredients, and fair labor practices. I source peppers and fresh oregano directly from farms in the Dominican Republic to ensure that every bottle is packaged with the most authentic flavors, naturally, without any added fillers.
Pisqueya is not just a great alternative to corporate giants in the Latinx food world, It is how we continue to live out inclusion through hospitality. I want to inspire more Latinx folx to share traditions, to tell our story, and to invite others to the table. Like Pisqueya, your authenticity and flavor are never to be compromised. I invite you to celebrate with us! The pot is big enough!