By: Sueann Wickham

Fifteen years ago, Sandra Craig, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of SS Natural Fruit-Flavoured Inc. found herself navigating the challenges of being a widow while raising her children alone in Georgetown, Guyana. In the bustling Bourda Market, she began her entrepreneurial journey with a small snackette, driven by a passion for cooking and a deep-rooted determination to provide for her family. Little did she anticipate that this modest venture would blossom into SS Natural Fruit-Flavoured Inc, a thriving agro-processing business renowned for its innovative range of barbecue sauces, seasonings, and dips.

Sandra’s journey is not merely a tale of business acumen but a testament to resilience, creativity, and the unwavering support of her family.

During her interview with the Guyana Standard she noted that it all started when her son, Shemroy Barrington—who is currently the Director of the company. She said he sparked an idea during their time at the snackette. He asked,”Mommy, why don’t we try making our own barbecue sauce and sell it?” This simple suggestion ignited Sandra’s entrepreneurial spirit, leading her to experiment in her kitchen with fruit-infused recipes that would later define SS Natural Fruit-Flavoured’s signature offerings.

One day in 2011, Sandra started experimenting in her kitchen, adding pineapple to store-bought barbecue sauce. The result was a unique flavor that quickly became a favorite among customers. Encouraged by the positive feedback, she decided to make the barbecue sauce from scratch. “I wanted to create something authentic, something that people would love,” she said. She started experimenting with different fruits and soon developed a line of seven distinct flavors for SS Natural Fruit-Flavoured Barbecue Sauce: mango, soursop, tamarind, golden apple, passion fruit, pineapple, and ginger and garlic. Each flavor offers a unique twist, setting her products apart in the market.

Establishing a foothold in the market, however, was a significant challenge. Sandra recalled the initial difficulties in marketing her products. “People are often hesitant to try new things, especially products they’re not familiar with,” she explained. “It took a lot of perseverance and countless samples to convince people to give my sauces a try.” Despite these hurdles, her sauces eventually made their way into supermarkets across Guyana, thanks in part to exhibitions and events that showcased her products to a broader audience.

However, establishing a presence in the market was no easy feat. Traditional institutions were reluctant to provide financing, making it difficult for Sandra to grow her business. “As a widow and a small business owner, I couldn’t meet the requirements for loans,” she said. It was her children who provided the initial support, both financially and emotionally. Her son Shemroy not only helped finance the snackette but also designed the product labels, ensuring they stood out on store shelves. “My family has been my rock,” she said. “Without their support, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this.”

Her breakthrough eventually came through relentless dedication and strategic partnerships with organizations like the Guyana Marketing Corporation and the Small Business Bureau, which provided crucial avenues for showcasing her products both locally and internationally.

“They really helped me market my products,” she said. “They gave me opportunities to showcase my sauces to a wider audience, both locally and internationally.”

Her efforts have paid off, with SS Natural Fruit-Flavoured now supplying products to countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, and the United States. She noted that over the years she has participated in several exhibitions both local and regional and her products have caught the attention of buyers. The most notable was her participation at the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA), held in Barbados in 2017 where several overseas based buyers expressed. Little did she know that would pave way for her supplying to the several countries mentioned today.

She also noted that she recently participated in the LAC flavors exhibition in Brazil where businesses from around the world converge to connect with suppliers and buyers from Latin America and the Caribbean. LAC Flavors seeks to expand and strengthen regional trade while generating new business and learning opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises. Sandra’s son, Shemroy who also spoke to this publication noted that the forum specializes in organizing “one-on-one” business to business/matchmaking business meetings. The Guyana Standard learnt that in the previous year it organized approximately 23,000 business to business meetings generating over a billion dollars in closed and prospective deals.

“Exhibiting at these events has opened doors I never thought possible,” she said. “It’s incredible to see my products on store shelves in other countries.”

Sandra’s ambition doesn’t stop at regional success. She dreams of expanding further and making her products known internationally. “I want SS Natural Fruit-Flavoured to be a household name, not just in the Caribbean but around the world,” she said. Plans are already underway for a larger factory on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, which will enable her to increase production and reach even more customers.

A significant aspect of Sandra’s business is her commitment to supporting women. Her workforce is comprised of 60% women, a fact she is particularly proud of. “Empowering women is important to me,” she explained. “I want to provide opportunities for other women to succeed, just as I’ve had the chance to build my business.” This dedication to fostering female employment and entrepreneurship reflects Sandra’s broader vision of creating a positive impact in her community.

Beyond her business achievements, Sandra Craig is a beacon of hope and inspiration. Her journey from a grieving widow to a successful entrepreneur exemplifies the power of resilience and the importance of community support. “I’ve faced many challenges, but each one has made me stronger,” she said. She expressed hope that her story inspires others to pursue their dreams, no matter how difficult the path may seem.

In reflecting on her journey, Sandra remains humble and deeply grateful. “I’m thankful for everyone who has supported me along the way,” she said. “From my family to my community, and all the organizations that have helped me, I couldn’t have done it without them.” As she looks to the future, Sandra is filled with optimism and excitement for what’s to come. “There’s so much more I want to achieve,” she says. “And I’m just getting started.”

For more information about SS Natural Fruit-Flavoured and their delicious offerings, interested customers can visit their official website at For inquiries, they can also reach out via email at [email protected] or contact them by phone at +592 504-5590 or +592 6729264.


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