Welcome to the second installment of our “More than a Model” series, which tells the stories of the incredible women behind our pictures. We’re pleased to share one of our Spring ’21 models with you. Sarah is not a professional model but she is a professional culinary artist, so a photo shoot in the kitchen seemed natural.
How did we find her?
Sarah is the powerhouse behind the Calypso Kitchen in Bellingham, WA and that is where Nuu-Muu’s designer, Enid, found her. I’m not entirely sure if it was Sarah’s vibrant smile or her delicious sauces that first caught Enid’s attention…both command attention, in the best way.
Obvious within moments of meeting her, Sarah’s fierce love for her 4 daughters shines as brightly as her determination. And, just saying, it would take huge doses of love and determination to get where she’s gotten.
Sarah arrived in the United States in 2006 from the southern Caribbean island of Trinidad. She came with her 3 older daughters, her grit, and not much else. Unless, of course, you decide to count her warm personality, big ideas, and some fantastic family recipes. After spending her first years in New York City, and welcoming her 4th daughter, fate brought Sarah to the Pacific Northwest. She spent happy but somewhat hard years raising her girls, relying only upon herself. And, although she had successfully managed businesses in Trinidad, it was difficult to find work in America. She sent out 250 resumes in 2012 and received not a single response. But Sarah was used to making things work. Realizing she would have to create her own income, Sarah marshalled that grit, her love of family tradition and food, and made it happen.
With the occasional help of her girls, for whom her business is her legacy, Sarah started offering Caribbean cooking classes through the local community college. She also started a catering business. Finally, Sarah created authentic traditional sauces and spice mixes, most of which she learned from her Grammy – her “biggest influence and inspiration towards the creation of Calypso Kitchen.” Sarah’s childhood was spent watching her Grammy prepare meals for family and friends. She taught Sarah the art of creating incredible flavors using what was close at hand (think backyard, neighborhood, community garden). It is this concept Sarah is sharing through Calypso Kitchen.
Giving back, and then some.
Sarah doesn’t sleep a lot; she spends many nights in the kitchen well into the wee hours of morning. That isn’t something she talks about readily – one of her life lessons from her father was to live without complaint and give without needing acknowledgement. Still – it takes a lot to raise 4 daughters and it takes a good deal of time to cook the delicacies that Sarah creates. And, get this: to provide relief to her community during the pandemic, Calypso Kitchen has been providing individually packaged meals to the homeless and people in transitional living accommodations, expanding on a tradition of generosity that she has always prioritized. Sarah currently provides 150 delicious meals to folks in need every Thursday. Every Thursday!
Sarah and Sauce. What’s ahead:
Sarah isn’t done making magic. Not at all.
It is somewhat commonly known in my world that my nickname is “Saucy.” I love sauce. LOVE IT. I order extra sauce for almost every meal, be it Greek, Mexican, Indian or really, anything. After my interview with Sarah, I went to her website and did a little sauce shopping. OMG. I ordered Mango Cilantro Vinaigrette, Trinidad Pepper Sauce, Blueberry Tamarind Sauce, Hibiscus Guava Glaze and, and the show stopper: her signature Hibiscus/Sorrel concentrate. The magic concentrate is the basis for her latest and greatest business endeavor - Calypso Sips. Sarah’s plans to make her distilled deliciousness available in hibiscus-infused soft seltzers, hard seltzers, cocktail mix and tea infusions. And for those of you into this stuff: hibiscus (the real stuff) is very good for you. Stay tuned, people!!!
I asked Sarah about her favorite pic from the photo shoot. She initially declined to pick a pic (!) and said that I could choose…in a happy twist of timing, I was previewing a Nuu-Muu email and, there was Sarah, smiling and cooking, elegant as all get out in X-Dress.
Feeling inspired? Us too. We are grateful to Sarah and to all of our models for sharing their time and their lives with us!