Made in Nicaragua - 7 Products We Love
With miles of palm-lined oceanfront, dense forests where vegetation grows plenty, and a history of traditional handmade crafts, it’s no wonder we love everything about products made in Nicaragua. Elemental and of the land, designers and innovators are using Nicaragua’s natural resources in thoughtful ways, furthering the notoriety of handmade goods in the country. Although it’s hard to choose our favorites from so many wonderful creatives, we’ve rounded up our top 7 made in Nicaragua products that you can’t miss.
Custom Leather Bags from Soy Nica
Made of Nicaraguan cowhide and pigskin, the premium leather bags from Soy Nica take tropical life to the big city. Soy Nica only sources leather from free range cows, never removing the imperfection like scars and bruises. Each piece has its own story and charm, as unique as the bright characters of the people who wear them. Available in totes, cross-body bags, backpacks, and all sizes in between, the bags come in an array of colors, including bright orange, black, and red. Shop Soy Nica products in Granada, where the brand has a store on a cobble-stoned street.
Handmade Throws from Roots & Soul
Based in Amsterdam but sourced in Nicaragua, the handmade throws and bags from Roots & Soul are your perfect travel companions during a trip to Nicaragua. Drawn to Nicaragua due to their passion for yoga, surf, and beach life, Roots & Soul founders Bart and Flora moved to Central America in 2013, leading them to discover the craftsmanship and beauty of handmade goods in the country. In collaboration with talented local craftsmen, the duo began Roots & Soul in 2014. No throws or bags are produced in mass, honoring the natural, organic roots true Nicaraguan goods. The bags are large enough to hold all of your beach gear, while the throws can double as beach blankets or light evening throws in the thick jungle climate.
Organic Fare and Cold Brew from Espressonista
No trip to Granada is complete without a stop at Espressonista. The coffee shop and restaurant exudes the laid-back, open-air charm that is quintessential Nicaragua, all while serving the most delicious fresh plates in the city. Owned and operated by creators Zoltan Puzsar and Andres Lazar, the concept began as a specialty coffee house, but quickly grew into a full-blown restaurant. On a coffee-sourcing mission into the Nicaraguan countryside, the duo discovered artisan cheese makers, ham smokers, organic farmers, craft beer brewers and livestock farmers dedicated to excellence. Both Puzsar and Lazar took their findings back to Espressonista and crafted an entire menu that’s of the land. You won’t find a better representation of Nicaraguan cuisine anywhere else. Don't forget to purchase a bag of their locally sourced coffee beans on your way out or shop their small shop in the back of the restaurant of local goods.
Ready Wear Pieces from Shantall Lacayo
Born to an artistic mother, Shantall Lacayo grew up in the breadths of Managua’s Museo-Galería Genesis. Surrounded by art and eccentricity, Lacayo learned the the art of fashion design at Argentina’s Escuela de Moda, before becoming a contestant on Project Runway Latin America. As a highly regarded designer in Nicaragua, Lacayo crafts designs for the modern Nicaraguan woman. From street to the boardroom, Lacayo’s fun prints and pattern cull outs are evocative of life in this tropical oasis. Shop a number of her beautiful designs during a stay at Mukul.
Clay Vases from the Masaya Market
A trip to Masaya is just a quick drive from Nicaragua’s colonial city of Granada and a vital stop on a visit to the city. The market houses the work of many inspiring artists: Rows of detailed, leather shoes and beautifully designed clay pottery are on display. Browse the many isles for your perfect piece. Whether artfully designed with hand-carved butterflies or formed in a classic Nicaraguan print, the vases are sure to provide your home with a sense of worldliness. We love to keep our bathroom toiletries organized in these beauties.
Handcrafted Furniture from Maderas Collective
Maderas Collective, operates a craft-forward, hand-made manufacturing facility in Managua dedicated to the production of sustainable furniture. The Maderas team noticed an opportunity to preserve a part of the Nicaraguan culture they inhabited, as many woodworkers were abandoning their careers to explore more lucrative jobs. Maderas Collective only uses sustainable sources that don't employ clear-cutting and harvest only a small percentage of each hectare allowing for natural growth to replenish itself. Only hardwoods that are available in sustainable quantities are used in production.
The shop’s most recent and notable project includes a collaboration with Uhuru Design to outfit the Vice Media offices in Brooklyn, New York. The studio is also responsible for the custom furniture in Brooklyn restaurant Sisters and the Mast Brothers retail store. Pick up your very own piece at their online shop.
Single-Origin Coffee Beans from Café Integral
At a mere age of twenty-seven, Café Integral owner César Vega has changed America’s perception of Nicaraguan coffee. As a native of Nicaragua and exiled to Miami at age three, Vega has a strong connection to the land and is determined to facilitate a prosperous future for his home country. Having always been a coffee aficionado, Vega decided to open his own business, Café Integral, at age twenty-three. Although a long and arduous process, Vega now has two locations, one inside the Freehand Chicago, and one at American Two Shot, a trendy retail store in New York City’s Soho district. As delicious as it is meaningful, Vega’s coffee employs a single-origin sourcing strategy, a system that takes the coffee straight from the farmer to the end consumer; thus giving the farmer more profit and the consumer a better product. Order your favorite variety on their online shop.