After eight years in the business, Clayton Farmers’ Market vendor and del Carmen owner Estie Cruz-Curoe knows her beans.
“They produce home-style Cuban black beans and other tasty treats,” wrote Patch Local Voices blogger Angela Foley in a recent post.
Cruz-Curoe is one of the market’s newest artisan vendors, and she’s known for her authentic Cuban-style beans, which are slow-cooked and ready to heat-and-eat.
Meet Estie Cruz-Curoe
Cruz-Curoe holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, according to a report from the St. Louis Post Dispatch. She previously worked in the insurance industry, but when her daughters, now 18 and 21, were born, she told the Post-Dispatch that she stayed home to raise them.
It was during that time that she taught herself how to make beans in the traditional Cuban style.
Born in Cuba, Cruz-Curoe moved to the United States as a child, and her beans are made in the “traditional Cuban method,” according to her website. That means they’re only made in small batches that are “hand-made with the slow cooked method and fresh, quality ingredients.”
Cruz-Curoe said she grew up eating beans, and while she started out “like most people” buying the canned version, it just wasn’t what she wanted.
“I just couldn't find the right seasoning, so I decided to try them from scratch," she told Post-Dispatch reporter Joe Bonwich.
del Carmen has plans to expand its line too, and the company hopes to add locations outside of St. Louis as it grows.
About the Beans
Recent research has proven that black beans offer a special kind of support for digestive tract health, specifically the colon, according to WHFoods.org, and eating them on a regular basis can lower your risk of colon cancer.
The beans served up by del Carmen are soaked for at least eight hours before they’re used in any of the company’s products, which WHFoods.org reports can improve the overall benefits of the beans.
Among the products you’ll find at the market are regular and lower-sodium versions of black beans, black bean soup, black beans and rice and vegetable broth.
Want to get healthier, but you’re not sure how to incorporate black beans into your diet? Don’t worry—Cruz-Curoe has you covered with her own list of free black bean recipes.
See You at the Market
The del Carmen beans, as well as their popular soups, are sold at several area farmers’ markets and specialty shops in convenient take-home packages.
In addition to the Clayton Farmers’ Market, del Carmen black beans and soups can be found at the Ladue Market, the Sappington Market, the Schafly Market and the Tower Grove Market. The products can also be found in several shops around the state. You can also connect with del Carmen on Facebook.