You may know Myriam Jean-Baptiste as the founder of LS Cream Liqueur, but first and foremost, she’s a pioneering woman entrepreneur who’s blazed a trail of incredible firsts and other accomplishments.
In addition to being one of the few women to carve out a place for herself in the traditionally male-dominated alcohol industry, she’s the first person of colour to break into the liqueur sector. And if that wasn’t enough, she did it by developing and commercializing a product previously unavailable in Quebec: Cremas, a cream liqueur popular in her native Haiti.
Jean-Baptiste talks to Export Development Canada (EDC) about her journey to export LS Cream Liqueur into the United States, in our new podcast series, Export Impact (in French) with host Marie-Josée Richer.
Cremas is a traditional coconut drink with notes of vanilla and cinnamon served at family get-togethers and holiday celebrations. After realizing that few non-Haitians had heard of this delicious rum drink, second-generation Quebecer, Jean-Baptiste decided to introduce cremas to a wider audience, along with her Caribbean culinary and cultural heritage. She did this by using her husband Stevens’ family recipe, which was passed down to her from her mother-in-law. It’s that recipe (with her own personal touch) that’s now available for sale at the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ).
But to get there, Jean-Baptiste had to roll up her sleeves and turn roadblocks into building blocks of success. That’s exactly what she did when the SAQ rejected her liqueur—she turned around and wowed the judging panel of a prestigious competition in the U.S.
That’s all it took for the SAQ to change its mind. She showed the same tenacity and aptitude for navigating local laws when bringing her product to market. That includes successfully breaking into the U.S. market: LS Cream is now distributed in 15 states south of the border.
Where to listen
Follow us on your favourite streaming platforms to never miss an episode of the Export Impact Podcast. Tune in to our podcast for new episodes every second Wednesday at 6 a.m. ET.