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Our Story

For may years my wife and I have served our family, friends, church, and community  around the table. During the height of the Corona Virus Pandemic, our church could not meet indoors and we looked for ways we could serve our congregation and neighborhood. We decided to throw a free BBQ and serve people slow-cooked, homemade food curb-side. The monthly BBQs not only fed a lot of people, but it also brought much needed joy to our community during a difficult time.  

We discovered that people we’ve never met really liked our food and began asking where they could get more. After discussing it with our children, we decided to combine our loves for both food and people and birth Caribbean Roots, “Food from the Sol.”

Why “Caribbean Roots?” It starts with who we are.

Johanna was born in and spent most of her childhood in the Dominican Republic before immigrating to the United States with her family, settling in Brooklyn, NY. She gained expertise on Dominican cuisine, not from books or school, but from the amazing cooks in her family & community. After we were married and she moved to Gary, Indiana to join with me in ministry, she began educating people on Dominican food. A common misconception she has the opportunity to dispel is that Dominican food is not spicy “hot” like some Mexican food can be.  

I, on the other hand, was born and raised in Northern Indiana and my experience of BBQ was whatever was cooked on a propane grill or the McDonald’s McRib. It was not until I went to college that I was introduced to real BBQ from a neighborhood BBQ spot. I was hooked! My culinary experiences continued to broaden as my Jamaican mentor (Pops) introduced me to Jamaican food and took me to the his homeland. I then became acquainted with other food from the Caribbean Islands through diverse people in my life and traveling to many of the islands. I also began to study various BBQ techniques of the U.S. and Caribbean.  

Today Johanna and I, along with our two children, take our love of food rooted in the diverse flavors of the Caribbean islands and traditional BBQ techniques to serve you “Food from the Sol.”

-Ryan Flemming

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