Vernon Williams Whips Up a Recipe For Success With Karibe™ Cookware

In 2018, U.S. retail sales of cast iron cookware were approximately $176.1 million. Sales have been rising ever since the COVID-19 pandemic drove more people to cook at home.

New Jersey-based cookware brand Karibe™ has tapped into this growing market. It joins other Black brands in the wider home décor and accessories market, many of them listed at websites such as Black Designer Brands, Shoppe BlackHouse Beautiful, Etsy, HGTV, Spacejoy, and Elle.

Karibe makes cast iron pans and more. Vernon Williams launched the company in 2019, assembling a leadership team of engineers with a Caribbean background.

“Karibe stands for Caribbean Bae. Drop The ‘C’ in Caribbean and replace it with a ‘K.’ The ‘B.E.’ is pronounced as ‘Bae,’” Williams explains. “Karibe was formed to highlight African and Caribbean culture in the home decor industry. Our Kulture is what separates us from any other brand. We pride ourselves on educating everyone on Karibe’s Kulture.“

Karibe offers a diverse line of cookware, including 8- to 12-inch cast-iron skillets, stainless steel sauce pots, cutting boards, knives sets, and utensil sets. Prices range from  US$35.99 for a solid wood cutting board to $124.99 for a two-skillet set.

Williams knew he wanted to enter the cookware market and had the right knowledge and team to do so.

“Our biggest challenge is gathering the necessary capital and marketing. Fortunately, we were able to overcome these obstacles by providing quality products, great customer service. As a result we were able to build trust with our fellow Karribeans and Foodies,” he notes, and adds, “Fortunately, I was able to have a solid engineering career, and I was able to fund the company with the necessary capital every step of the way.”

Based in Newark, N.J., Karibe also offers customers recipes to try with its products. Sold mainly online, the products are shipped free. A television channel,  KaribeTV, offers cooking lessons and more.

Like many businesses, Karibe was adversely affected by the pandemic, but it has managed to overcome the challenges.

“Our major challenge has been the supply chain industry, but we used the pandemic as an opportunity to educate ourselves to be a stronger company,” says Williams.

He has clear goals for 2022.

“We are aiming to add more products to our business as well as consistent growth. Although we are in the grassroots stages, we have goals to offer so much more,” he asserts.