HISTORY OF COUXCOUX – “CAYMAN’S COCONUT FACTORY”
In June of 2015 Couxcoux had one employee …. Me.
I had been experimenting for years with non-conventional skin care options that my mom, myself and my daughter could tolerate due to some allergy issues we’d been experiencing and, after several years of trial and error, the solution for us is: my homemade Couxcoux brand coconut oil based cleansers and moisturizers comprising only effective natural whole foods and properly sourced, good quality, essential oils.
The Couxcoux collections, SOS for my daughter, SILKY for myself, and SUN for my Mom, were so successful that I started sharing my ideas with my friends that were experiencing similar issues. When my friends friends started asking if I could help them too …. Couxcoux was born.
By December of 2015, I was successfully selling my Couxcoux Skin Care Collections and personal care products 2 days a week at a small local street market and distributing to 3 small local retailers.
But, this little launch was completely dependent on purchasing handmade, local coconut oil from some pretty obscure and remote sources. I discovered quickly that I was not able to buy enough local coconut oil to keep up with the demand for the Couxcoux products and the supply was often unreliable.
I knew I had a decision to make.
If I wanted this little company to grow and reach as many suffering people as possible: I needed to make a lot of my own coconut oil.
Considering this, I obtained a trade & business license, purchased materials and equipment, got some space, a hired helper and sourced a supply of raw coconuts by reaching out to our neighbors and community at large.
When I started making my own coconut oil I quickly understood how much “trash” I was accidentally creating. Each coconut I used produced about 1 ounce, or less, of coconut oil and several pounds of “waste”.
What to do with the trash? ….. Well!! ….
I learned that I could dry and mill the leftover pressed coconut meat to create a lovely, tasty flour that is excellent for muffins, cakes, crepes, pancakes, tortilla chips and dredging meats and vegetables to be baked or fried. We also feed this copra to chickens, goats and horses.
The coconut husk, when shredded, is a bedding that most animals prefer as it processes and absorbs urine and other fluids so well that, after occasional turning and drying, there’s next to no smell for a very long time compared to other bedding materials. After a couple weeks, when the animals are finished with this bedding, we can easily mix it into the garden soil as fertilizer, mulch, and/or a decorative chip spread.
The coconut shell is very hard and stable along with being a beautiful polished wood when carved. We make many artisan items like bowls, cups, candles, necklaces and earrings. The pet rabbits, guinea pigs and gerbils love to chew on spare coconut shell too.
So, by December of 2016, Couxcoux is selling a full range of coconut related products and is a regular attendee at 4 local street markets per week plus we distribute to over 20 local retailers including all three major grocery stores. We have developed relationships with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment, CARDI, Caribbean Agriculture, and several major not for profit cultural foundations on island where we are invited to educate, promote, display, demonstrate and sell all our products at promotional events.
To accomplish all this Couxcoux Oil began with our first mission:
“do not waste the local coconut”.
We source our fresh coconuts through our community driven environmental coconut UP-Cycling campaign, whimsically, yet successfully, named: “We Want Your Nuts”.
Couxcoux “rescues” or collects coconuts from participating Cayman residents and Cayman businesses with decorative coconut trees on their land. Through this method, we can successfully maintain our own “coconut plantation”. The coconuts from these decorative trees would normally have ended up in the garbage via landscape chores or would simply fall to rot on the ground.
Our “We Want Your Nuts” participants are thrilled to be involved in this highly visible, culturally relevant UP-Cycling program dedicated to not wasting a valuable natural resource and they’re doubly happy that we do some of their landscape chores for them by coming to collect their unused, very heavy, pesky, sometimes dangerous, unwanted coconuts.
Our second mission at Couxcoux is:
“all our products contain 0% synthetic or hazardous ingredients”
No preservatives, plasticisers, solvents, petroleums, emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, anti-caking agents etc. Therefore, written down on the ingredient list in plain English, along with required scientific classification names of plant genres, our ingredients are: all natural to organic whole foods & all natural to organic essential oils …. that’s it!! No laboratory needed.
We use the natural Cayman Coconut and a few imported, or local, raw ingredients to craft all our products. And, all our blends act as their own naturally occurring preservative.
Our intent is to reduce the toxic body burden of all our customers and reduce the toxic chemical footprint of Grand Cayman as a whole by reducing the import of the products Couxcoux sells: from oil, flour and cosmetics to gardening, livestock and pet necessities. Perhaps, eventually, fabric, clothing, carpets and upholstery too.
Couxcoux skin care is specifically for the exponentially growing number of consumers who are aware of dangerous, unidentified or undefined added chemicals, and suspicious of incomplete, manipulated or not entirely truthful ingredient labels on seemingly every conventional food and cosmetic product available.
At Couxcoux we go to extreme efforts to inform and educate people that conventional or synthetic products are no longer necessary.
With Couxcoux, there IS a super safe, super simple, super effective, chemical free, synthetic free, all natural, alternative to every single thing you put ON, or put IN, your body.