So there I was, a kid from Ohio via California, finding his way down to deepest, darkest Costa Rica in 2008. And there it was like pirate treasure… Pura Vida. Life without the white noise, the traffic, the daily grind, and the hamster wheel rat race. Who would ever leave this jungle heaven?
Jumpcut: July 2011, and life is beautiful. The rainy season has begun, and I can't see the yard for all the chili plants. As it happens, mango season was getting warmed up and promised a bumper crop too, so many that even the local monkeys couldn't eat them all. So what's a guy to do? Make a spicy Mango Chutney, of course! So one day during football season, we took some peppers from the garden, some mangoes right off the trees, and started cooking up our O.G. Mango Caliente. An instant hit. But what to name this killer Costa Rican homebrew? Just like we did with the chilies and mangoes, we mashed up two powerful Spanish words, "Rico," which means rich and delicious, and "Picante," which means hot and spicy. Oh yeah, you speak Spanglish too, huh?
By now, we were getting regular orders from the local restaurants, hotels, and bars for more and more of our Pura Vida Ricante sauce. Before football season was over, we had a thoroughbred stable of five killer sauces, and our Awesomeness Collection had begun. Come October that same year, we opened Ricante Cevicheria in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. My beautiful Costa Rican wife's idea, naturally. Think of it as the best-kept secret for wiley globetrotters looking for a tasting menu where Ricante's sauces are lovingly paired with the freshest ceviches you are ever going to taste in your life. Tourists from around the globe came to visit, and they all took a bottle home to remind them of this other, more beautiful life they too had stumbled upon.
By 2012, our brave little Ricante brand had paddled into the bigger sets in the U.S. condiment market. Splash! The Word was spreading, and The Word was "OMG, That's Good!" Fast-forward to 2020, where we have nationwide distribution in Costa Rica and over 1,000+ locations in the USA. You can find us in Safeway in NorCal + Portland and Whole Foods Market nationwide! As we say in the unspoiled jungles of Costa Rica Viva La Revolución Del Sabor! (The Flavor Revolution has begun!) And the world is ravenous for fresh condiments with a taste of the wilds. Alicante is here to fill your flavor void.
Viva La Revolución Del Sabor! Viva!
Royce + the Ricante Team
2013 CIRCA • The Early Years