Ultimate Ways to Buy Local in the Dominican Republic

Part 3 of the Buy Local Series


By Kallin Lang

When you buy local and shop small you strengthen your community by supporting companies that stimulate the local economy, align themselves with environmentally friendly practices, and commit themselves to customer satisfaction. However, in today’s world, it can be a painstaking process to find quality local brands to support. Because of this, we’ve put together this easy guide on ways to shop small and support locally owned and manufactured Dominican brands. If you are wondering what counts as a local business or are looking for reasons to support local businesses check out Part 1 and Part 2.

This guide is not extensive of all local products in the Dominican Republic, since many local products are just that, local. Your local mom-and-pop shop may not have distribution all over the island or a website to advertise their products. It is important to note that we largely highlight companies that were founded by Dominicans, produced in the Dominican Republic, and currently owned and/or operated by Dominicans.

Buy Local Alcoholic Beverages

We’ll start off with a vacation classic, alcohol. The Dominican Republic has great beers, rum, and even a local classic, Mama Juana. 

 

Buy Local alcohol, Brugal, rum

Brugal & Co., CXA.

Founded in: 1888 by Andrés Brugal Montaner

Managed by: Scottish company, The Edrington Group

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo and Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Puerto Plata and San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic

Buy Local alcohol, Bermudez, rum

Armando Bermúdez & Co.

Founded in: 1852 by Armando Bermúdez 

Managed by: Carlos Alberto Bermúdez Pippa, 4th generation

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Buy Local alcohol, Barcelo, rum

Ron Barceló, SRL.

Founded in: 1929 by Julián Barceló

Managed by: Spanish company, Ron Barceló SRL.

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic

Buy local alcohol, cerveceria vegana

Cervecería Vegana, SRL

Founded in: 1975 by José Armando Bermúdez Pippa 

Managed by: Bermúdez-Madera family, 5th Generation 

Headquarters in: Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo, Azua, and La Romana, Dominican Republic

Produced in: La Vega, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Alcohol, Macorix, Rum

Pedro Justo Carrión and Co.-
Ron Macorix

Founded in: 1899 by the Carrion family

Managed by: Dominican Company, Vinícola del Norte founded by Juan Brugal Pérez

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Produced in: San Pedro de Macorís and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Tobacco

We’ll continue with our 18+ products moving on to tobacco. Cuba isn’t the only island known for its cigars, the Dominican Republic grows and manufactures many great tobacco products. In fact, tobacco companies in the country support an estimated 30 thousand local jobs (Dominican Republic Free Zones).

 

Buy Local tobacco la flor

Tabacalera La Flor 

Founded in: 1996 by Litto and Inés Gómez

Managed by: Litto and Inés Gómez

Headquarters in: Coral Gables, Florida, USA

Produced in: Tamboril, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Coffee

Let’s keep that buzz going with another popular crop, coffee. In 2018, 25 million kilograms of coffee were produced, and 23.4 million of those kilograms were consumed locally (Post Beans). Many coffee farms are small and local, less than 3 hectares each. While these farmers often do not have the resources to be certified organic, typically they use organic practices and cultivate shade-grown coffee (Coffee Hunter).

 

Buy Local coffee, Induban

Industrias Banilejas S.A.S, (Induban)-
Santo Domingo Coffee, Induban Gourmet, Monte Perelló Estate, La Cafetera, Café Pilón, Café Tinto, Café Supremo, Café Molido Dominicano, Caracolillo

Founded in: 1945 by Manuel de Jesús Perelló Báez 

Managed by: Manuel José Pozo Perelló, 3rd generation

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Grown in: Rancho Arriba and Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic. 

Processed in: Baní, Moca, Cambita Garabitos, El Cercado, Azua, Peralta, and Barahona, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Chocolate

Another delicious creation enjoyed on the island is chocolate. In 2000, cocoa accounted for 2% of the country’s total exports, 20% of which was organic cocoa (Confectionary News). The Dominican Republic while only the 9th largest producer of chocolate worldwide (World Atlas), dominates the organic market producing 60-80% of all organic cocoa in 2006 (Raynolds, 2008). Furthermore, 80% of all cocoa beans are grown on small, local farms, less than 3 hectares each (Confectionary News).

 

Buy Local Chocolate, cortes

Chocolate Cortés-
Cortés, Forteza, Embajador, Fríoo, Sobrino, Mas Mas, Mr. Milk, Fleiki, Copittas, Rocky Kid, and Crachi 

Founded in: 1929 by Pedro Cortés Forteza

Managed by: Cortés family, 4th generation 

Headquarters in: San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Processed in: Yamasá, El Seibo, and San Francisco Macorís, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Hato Rey, Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Distributed in: Santo Domingo and Santiago, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Sweets

Still need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Don’t worry the Dominican Republic has plenty of sugar cane too. In fact, after Cuba, the Dominican Republic is the second-largest producer of sugar cane in the Caribbean (Nations Encyclopedia). It is important to note that large private companies dominate 96% of all sugar production (Dominican Sugar), and illegal Haitian immigrants harvest a majority of sugarcane working below the poverty line without access to basic necessities (Verite). 

 

buy Local Bread Miguelina

Repostería Miguelina

Founded in: 1982 by Miguelina Mirabel de García and Félix García Sánchez

Managed by: Miguelina Mirabel de García and Félix García Sánchez

Headquarters in: Bonao, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Bonao, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Ice Cream Helados Bon

Bon Agroindustrial SA-
Helados Bon

Founded in: 1972 by Alfonso Moreno Martinez and the Moreno family

Managed by: Colombian company, Grupo Nutresa. Under their company, Healdos Bon has 241 franchises in the Dominican Republic.

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Fruits and Vegetables

After all those sweets, it’s time to get healthy. Luckily fresh fruits and vegetables are found all over the country. Apart from supermarkets and small corner stores, trucks are often parked roadside with beds full of fresh produce.

In 2019, the Dominican Republic was the 2nd largest producer of avocados and the 2nd larger producer of papaya in the world (FAO). The country also produces bananas, pineapples, coconuts, yucca, mangos, lemons, and oranges for local markets and export (FAO, FAO). On a smaller scale, vegetables are produced for local consumption. These include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, plantains, carrots, broccoli, corn, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, and eggplants (Dominican Today, FAO). Exotic fruits such as guava also make up a small portion of agricultural sales.

Many farmers grow organic fruits and vegetables. But, due to lack of awareness, barriers for entry, and a minute local market for organic goods, these goods go uncertified and sell at the same price as non-organic produce (FAO). Another interesting contrast is that most of the processed fruits and vegetables you see in supermarkets, such as precut french fries, are in fact imported. Therefore, it’s important to buy whole foods rather than their processed counterparts (University of Buffalo). 

 

buy Local fruits and vegetables Bon

Bon Agroindustrial SA-
Bon

Founded in: 1972 by Alfonso Moreno Martinez and the Moreno family

Managed by: Colombian company, Grupo Nutresa

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Meats and Dairy

Also found on the farms of the Dominican Republic are many cows, sheep, goats, and poultry. Poultry is the most common meat source because of its low cost. Unfortunately, a majority of chicken feed is imported. If you are looking for free-range chickens, make sure to go directly to the local farmers.

Cows are also widely found on the island. In 2001, there were 2.1 million head of cattle. 60% of those cows were processed for beef consumption, while the remaining 40% were raised for dairy (Nations Encyclopedia). Throughout the country, 95% of cows graze and consume a natural diet of grass (Dominican Today).

Lastly, while there are a multitude of fish in the oceans and rivers around the country, many fish are imported. Keep your eyes peeled for Marlin, Barracuda, King Fish, Mackerel, Tuna, Sailfish, Tarpon, Snapper, Bonito, and American Grouper which are fished on the island (Nations Encyclopedia). 

buy Local meat alonzo farms

Alonzo Farms

Founded in: 1997 by the Alonzo Family

Managed by: Fabio Antonio Alonzo Bencosme

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Yamasá and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

buy Local Meat Mercarne

Mercarne

Founded in: 2013 by José O. Álvarez Payán and family

Managed by: José O. Álvarez

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

buy Local meat Chef

Productos Chef, SA.
Chef, Emilios, Jaballi, and El Serranito

Founded in: 1974 by Emilio Cadenas Adán

Managed by: Emilio Cadenas Kindelán, 2nd generation

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

buy Local Cheese Don Capeto

Quesos Don Capeto

Founded in: 2014 by Jose Capeto Gomez Andujar Fernandez and Lugueris Celeste Reyes Hiciano

Managed by: Jose Capeto Gomez Andujar Fernandez

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Rice and Beans

Two other popular food staples produced and eaten in the country are rice and beans. They are the foundation of most dishes, including the national dish, la Bandera Dominicana. In 2019, the country produced 721 thousand tons of rice (FAO), and on average each person eats 127 pounds of rice per year. That’s the most in all Latin America (IICA)! In comparison, Dominicans only eat about 12 pounds of beans per capita per year. While beans are grown in the southwest of the country, overall the Dominican Republic is considered a bean importer (USDA). 

buy Local rice and beans La Famosa

Peravia Industrial SA-
La Famosa

Founded in: 1963 by Roberto Serrano Oms

Managed by: Roberto Serrano Oms

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Santiago, and Bani, Dominican Republic

Grown in: Peravia, San Cristobal, and Azua, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Baní, Dominican Republic

buy Local rice and beans Jaja

Industrias Empacadoras Dominicanas CxA-
JaJa

Founded in: 1963 by Felix Maria Rojas C.

Managed by: Felix Alberto Rojas

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic*
*Imports tomatoes, peppers, and corn among others

Buy Local Bread

Another mealtime classic is bread. Bakeries are found throughout the country, as well as a few local brands that distribute nationwide.

buy Local Bread Molino del sol

Flobeman SRL.-
Molíno Del Sol and Mi Trigo

Founded in: 1993 by Luigi Bellinello

Managed by: Luigi Bellinello

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Buy Local Drinks

To wash down all that food you are going to need some drinks, non-alcoholic this time.

buy Local drinks rica

Rica 

Founded in: 1966 

Managed by: Julio Branche Arzeno and Pedro Branche

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: San Antonio de Guerra and Villa Altagracia, Dominican Republic

buy Local drinks Agua Crystal

MercaSID-
Agua Crystal

Founded in: 1966 by Armentos Group

Managed by: Roberto Bonetti Guerra

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

buy Local drinks agua planeta azul

Agua Planeta Azul

Founded in: 1989 by José Santos Taveras

Managed by: Loganville and the Vicini family

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Other Companies to Buy Local

Didn’t quite find the company you were curious about? Check out these miscellaneous companies that offer up a wide variety of food products. 

Other buy local companies Cesar Iglesias

César Iglesias-
El Gallo, El Gallego, Trigo de Oro, El Sol, Mazeite, Trigo de Oro, Del César, El Rey, El León, Kinsú, Don Quijote, Doramás, Santer, Harina de Negrito, Harina De Trigo Nacional, Aurora, ChenChén, La Sirena, Faro,  Alianza, Del Frutal, Del Molino, and Forty Pan

Founded in: 1910 by Cesar Iglesias Feire

Managed by: Cesar Norberto Armenteros Iglesias

Headquarters in: San Pedro de Macorís, Santo Domingo, and La Vega, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Nagua, Azua, San Pedro de Macorís, Santo Domingo, and La Vega, Dominican Republic

Other buy local companies Constanza

Perfsa-
Constanza Agroindustrial

Founded in: 1985 by José Ramón Peralta

Managed by: José Ramón Peralta

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Constanza and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

other buy local companies bravo supermarkets

Bravo Supermarkets

Founded in: 1979 Valeriano Rafael Monestina and his wife

Managed by: Valeriano Rafael Monestina and his wife

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo and Santiago, Dominican Republic

Distributed in: Santo Domingo, Baní, and Santiago, Dominican Republic

Other buy local companies Induveca

Induveca-
Caserío, Don Pedro, Frank’s, Rivera, Salchicha Racnchera, Salchicha Sabrosa, Gran Estelar, Estelar, Naranjal, Criollísimo, Popular, Veggielife, Naturelle, Yokesso, Yoka, Parmalat, and Santal

Founded in: 1968 by Pedro A. Rivera

Managed by: Ligia Consuelo Bonetti Dubreil

Headquarters in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Other buy local companies Baldom

Baltimore Dominicana, SA-
Baldom and Oli 

Founded in: 1970 by Otto Knupper 

Managed by: Hartmut Rainer Knupper, 2nd Generation

Headquarters in: Santiago and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Produced in: Santiago and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Below we have listed all the brands we talked about today alphabetically to aid you on your next grocery trip. We hope this easy guide helps you to shop small and support locally owned and manufactured Dominican brands. Don’t forget if you haven’t already check out our reasons to support local businesses in Part 1 and Part 2, and stay tuned for Part 4 where we will create a guide for Dominican companies making household items.

Agua Cristal (Water)
Agua Planeta Azul (Water)
Alianza (Pasta)
Alonzo Farms (Meat)
Aurora (Flour)
Baldom (Garlic paste, Corn Starch, Seasonings, Sauces, Canned Fish, and Sweetened Condensed Milk)
Barceló (Alcohol, Rum)
Bermúdez (Alcohol, Rum, Vodka, Gin, Whiskey, and Liqueur)
Bon (Jams, Juices, and Fruit Compotes)
Bravo (Bread, Meat, Cheese, Juice, Grains, Olives, and more)
Brugal (Alcohol, Rum)
Café Molido Dominicano (Coffee)
Café Pilón (Coffee)
Café Supremo (Coffee)
Café Tinto (Coffee)
Caracolillo (Coffee)
Caserío (Meat, Pork and Turkey)
Cervecería Vegana (Alcohol, Beer, Malted Beverages, and Water)
Chef (Meat, Pork)
ChenChén (Corn Flakes)
Constanza (Garlic Paste, Seasonings, and Grains)
Copittas (Chocolate)
Cortés (Chocolate, Chocolate Products, and Coffee)
Crachi (Chocolate)
Criollísimo (Meat, Pork)

Del César (Pasta)
Del Frutal (Juice)
Del Molino (Oats)
Don Capeto (Cheese)
Don Pedro (Meat, Pork)

Don Quijote (Flour)
Doramás (Flour, Corn Flakes)
El Gallo (Oil)
El Gallego (Oil)
El León (Cereals)
El Rey (Instant Cereal)
El Sol (Oil)
El Serranito (Meat, Pork)
Embajador (Chocolate Drink Powder)
Emilios (Meat, Hot Dogs)
Estelar (Meat, Pork)
Faro (Canned Fish)
Fleiki (Chocolate)
Forteza (Chocolate)
Forty Pan (Bread Fermentation Aid)
Frank’s (Meat, Hot Dogs)
Fríoo (Chocolate and Berry Drink Powders)
Gran Estelar (Meat, Pork)
Harina de Negrito (Instant Cereal)
Harina de Trigo Nacional (Flour)
Helados Bon (Ice Cream)
Induban (Coffee)
Induban Gourmet (Coffee)
Induveca (Meat, Pork, Chicken, Turkey)
Jaballi (Meat, Chicharron)
JaJa (Beans and Canned Goods)

Kinsú (Ramen)
La Cafetera (Coffee)
La Famosa (Beans and Canned Goods)
La Sirena (Canned Fish)

Mas Mas (Chocolate)
Mazeite (Oil)
Mercarne (Meat)
Mi Trigo (Bread)
Molíno Del Sol (Bread)
Monte Perelló Estate (Coffee)
Mr. Milk (Chocolate)
Naranjal (Meat, Pork)
Naturelle (Cheese)
Oli (Fruit Compotes and Jello)
Parmalat (Milk)
Popular (Meat, Pork)
Repostería Miguelina (Desserts, Breads, Juices, and Meals)
Rica (Drinks)
Rivera (Meat, Pork)
Rocky Kid (Chocolate)
Ron Macorix (Alcohol, Rum)
Sabrosa (Meat, Canned)
Salchicha Ranchera
Salchicha Sabrosa (Meat, Canned)
Santal (Juice)
Santer (Water)
Santo Domingo (Coffee)
Sobrino (Chocolate Drink Powder)
Tabacalera La Flor (Tobacco, Cigars)
Trigo de Oro (Flour)
Veggielife (Vegetarian Meats)
Yokesso (Cheese and Sour Cream)
Yoka (Yogurt)

digging and planting

Internship

Taino Farm Farm Tour and river float

Farm Tour

Taino Farm Permaculture Inspired

Permaculture

taino organic farm aquaponic

Aquaponics

Taino Organic Farm Vermiculture

Vermiculture