mamas guava bars, they got it from their mamas

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mama's Guava Bars are making guava, or guayaba, take your pick, an easier, healthier snack. That sticky guava paste, makes a big ol mess, usually gets paired with a boring (but delicious!) Cuban cracker and cream cheese or shoved into a pastelito where the crunchy, flaky deliciousness of the pastry overwhelms the guava itself. And let's face it, neither of those are particularly healthy snacks, they skew more towards the unhealthy, dessert side of the scale. 

Augustin and Alex, of Mama's Guava Bars are genius, because they know something that I know too - guava is the best snack and it hadn't really been capitalized on the way it should be. These two old friends have been baking these bars, cracking jokes about othe kinds of baking (wink wink) and hitting the farmer's market circuit introducing people to this very brilliant, very delicious and much healthier take on a guava snack. I'll let them tell you more about their mamas and their Mama's Guava Bars: 

Hey there Mama's Guava boys, first of all – how much of this idea do you guys owe to your mamas?
We owe EVERYTHING to our Mamas! Without our their guidance throughout life, we would not be the men we are today. The actual idea of the company came when we were finishing our degrees at UCF. After spring break of our junior year, Alex made a pan of his mom's famous guava treats for Agustin to try. "We knew we had an instant hit, and our entrepreneurial spirit kicked in." With Mama's permission to use the recipe to start a business, we went hard to work trying get it off the ground.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your company. Are you guava fiends? Health food nuts? How'd you end up two dudes selling the best healthy snack in town?

We knew about each other since elementary school, when we used to compete against one another in various sports, but didn't become friends until we both went to Belen Jesuit High School. Our friendship continued through college as we both attended Miami-Dade Honors College and UCF.

Alex "I majored in Biology and had to take an Ethnobotany class as a requirement; it focused on how different plants, fruits, and vegetables are used for health and medicinal purposes in different cultures around the world. One of the fruits we learned about was Guava, a fruit I have been familiar with my entire life because of my Cuban decent (and living in Miami). Learning all of its health benefits, in combination with my Mama's delicious recipe, made something click in my head."

Agustin went for more of a production track studying Industrial Engineering, being that he loved math and science, but had an entrepreneurial spirit at heart. "We both developed our entrepreneurial minds throughout our childhood whether it was selling mangoes as a summer job, World Famous chocolate bars for school fundraisers, or donuts in the Belen parking lot for weekend cash. When Alex made a batch of Guava Bars for me, I knew these things weren't just an ordinary delicacy. There was more to it and we were determined to take it to the next level."

Luckily for us, we worked at the apartment complex we lived in while attending UCF and came in contact with many diverse people in the office throughout the day. We would sample off the guava bars every day and survey people's opinions and reactions. Not too long after, we had orders coming in for our product! Taking our survey data and sales numbers after the first few months, we knew we would have a successful business if made on a larger scale, especially in our hometown. A year later we finished up our degrees, moved back to Miami, and partnered up to officially launch Mama's Guava Bars.

Alright, about the main event – Mama's Guava Bars. What's in them and what makes them nice?

Mama's Guava Bars is a simple recipe, yet without the right touch, comes out to be just an ordinary snack. The secret ingredient is the love that is put into the recipe lol. The guava bars all consist of a cut of guava paste, sandwiched between a short bread crust consisting of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Added to the bars are different tree nuts and toppings that differentiate the four flavors that Mama's Guava Bars provide. The flavors are Walnuts, Cinnamon with Walnuts, and Chocolate Chips and Almonds, and many more in the works.

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What's the best way to enjoy Mama's Guava Bars? With milk? Almond milk? Vodka? A Sandwich? How and where do you eat them?

Depends on who your ask! Our customers tell us they love it with coffee, tea, ice cream, and red wine. They have been eaten for breakfast and to compliment a sandwich for lunch. Since the guava bar is individually packaged, it can be eaten anywhere. You can throw it in a lunch box for kids or in your purse for an after work snack. The guava bars have been eaten on airplanes, trains, boats, at sporting events, in class, and just about anywhere you want to take it!

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What can you tell us about the guava fruit? Personally, I'm a huge fan of a pastelito de guayaba y queso, but the fruit itself kind of freaks me out. My mom says there are white worms in it. I'm a fruit lover and I want to get over my guava fear. Help!

You are absolutely correct! There are worms in the matured guava fruits, whose eggs are laid by fruit flies. You can still eat the fruit with the worms (more protein!). But if you prefer wormless guavas, there are different pest control options you can use such as bait traps. Some gardeners even tie small paper bags around each ripening guava to protect the tender fruit from the invasive insects. Another way to rid of the worms is to soak the guava fruit in water to drown out the worms.

Guava is considered to be a superfruit and is a rich source of Vitamin A and contains more Vitamin C that most citrus fruits. Guava has been found to help fight digestive problems, cough and cold, skin care, high blood pressure, weight loss, and scurvy. Guava is also packed with anti-oxidants, which help protect against free radicals, and are a high source of lycopene and potassium.

Ok! Ok! I think we've made everyone hungry enough. Where can someone get their hands on Mama's Guava Bars?

Mama's Guava Bars can be found in select coffee and yogurt shops around the Miami-Dade area. Some of the more notable locations would be Pasion del Cielo in Coral Gables and Dadeland, Green Gables Café, and Hialeah Hospital. You can also visit our website at www.mamasguavabars.com to place an order that can be shipped anywhere in the US or to get the locations of where you can find the Guava Boys at local farmers markets on the weekends.

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Have you guys met any other local food purveyors on the farmer's market scene that we should know about?

Yes! Thank you for asking. There is an individual that churns his own ice cream and has a wide array of flavors that one wouldn't even think of creating especially in ice cream, but it will blow you away! The vendor's name is Allan and he is the creator of Roc Kat Ice Cream. There is another gentleman who sells the best complimentary hot sauce, called "Pika Sauce," which goes very well with any dish made in the kitchen ranging from eggs to chicken.

All photos shot at the Miami Springs Farmer's Market