Moringa teas are readily available in local supermarkets and may not seem extraordinary to most, but, have you ever had moringa hops bread, moringa and oatmeal breakfast cakes, moringa pepper sauce, moringa pastelles or even soaked your weary feet in a moringa foot soak?
Well…those innovative moringa items can by found at Madame Moringa Health Foods.
And, the Madame behind it all, is Michelle Barton-Romeo of Unity Road, Diego Martin.
Barton-Romeo is the queen of all things moringa, and the aim of her business is providing a healthy option for a healthier, longer life.
So, how did this love affair with moringa all start.
Well, according to Barton-Romeo, “The first time I heard the word “Moringa” was from a friend in the early months of 2016. I remember thinking, if this is so good how come I never heard about it. I did not take my friend’s word for it, rather, I immediately began to do some research myself … and of course I was wowed. My love affair began when I actually used it and immediately felt increased energy in my body. I then vowed to tell everyone about the benefits of using Moringa.”
Already well educated in food and nutrition, Barton-Romeo started on her journey with a health food business, creating various products under the name Aunty Paula’s Health Foods -Paula being her middle name.
When this started to blossom, she branched out into selling moringa trees at markets and one day the name came to her while standing at Green Market.
She already had a logo that was created by her son, she changed the name and voila, Madame Moringa was born.
Barton-Romeo, a wife and mother of five, was born an entrepreneur.
She said as far back as she can remember, her only thoughts were of being a teacher and running her own business.
Although she does not teach primary or secondary school, she is a tutor and a life skills facilitator. However, she maintains that business is in her blood.
“My mom ran her own home based business, my father was a very talented mason/carpenter and they had ten children, and every last one of us, owns a business.”
“My first business was a boutique in Tobago, called Michelle’s. I was 18-years-old when I started that business.
Flash forward to the moringa and the innovative creations.
Barton-Romeo said she believes that she is inspired by the Holy Spirit to come up with these different products, especially her breads. They come in flavors like melongene and ginger, beetroot and bhaji and moringa veggie bread to name a few.
As mentioned before, Madame Moringa isn’t just a one stop shop.
Barton-Romeo said she tries to keep diversifying her product line, and has created over 100 moringa products.
Her breads have taken off, and are perhaps her most popular item, as she creates and uses her own flour mixes, from cassava flour to sweet potato and green fig flour.
We asked her about these products and how they came about, like her best seller the Moringa Coffee Creamer and others like her Moringa Chocolate mix.
Barton-Romeo said people have many different tastes and dislikes and “I thought, let me try moringa in a variety of products, as the idea is to get a little bit of moringa in your diet, two or three times a day, instead of having a concentrated amount at one time.”
“So I started doing different things with the bread and moringa drinks,” and it kept expanding.
Creating moringa products is not all there is to Madame Moringa.
She is also an avid gardener, growing, selling and eating most of the produce that is found on her farm in Diego Martin.
Barton-Romeo said growing her own food is rewarding and guarantees that there will be no chemicals and she and her family are less likely to get sick.
Her farm in Rich Plain is open for people to visit and she intends to start a youtube channel, showcasing her joy of gardening and to provide tips on gardening, regardless of your garden size.
With the world clutched in the arms of a pandemic, Madame Moringa has now shifted to an online business, like most, and the shift is already a positive one.
She said in the past she has always gotten the complaints that she is too far and now, with this online market, customers can see her daily offerings and have their products delivered.
For those who have a niche market such as herself, Barton-Romeo had this advice:
“Spend on yourselves, when it comes to personal development and acquiring the skills needed to sell the product.”
“You have to believe in your product enough that you can sell it to yourself…let it be known that what you are making cannot be found anywhere else.”
“Make sure your products are of top quality and produce the best labelling that you can, don’t be cheap when it comes to packaging and stand proud.”
Madame Moringa’s product can be purchased online at:
https://plantingseedscaribbean.com/store/store/madame-moringa/or call 360-3492
Here is a list of some of the Products
Moringa Dried Leaves
Moringa Leaf Powder
Moringa seed powder
Moringa Fruit Powder
Moringa Combination Powder
Moringa Coffee Creamer
Moringa Protein Powder
Moringa Punch Powder
Moringa Breakfast Cereal
Moringa Fruit Cake
Moringa Tooth Powder
Moringa Foot Massage Oil
Moringa Body Butter
Moringa Hair Cream
Moringa Body Scrub
Moringa Exfoliating BAr soap
Moringa Snack Sticks
Moringa Breakfast Cakes
Moringa Mixed Nuts