The Two Columbian Women Behind Loro Crisps (Plantain Chips).

Meet two Colombian women who launched Loro Crisps (Plantain Chips) as a tastier, healthier alternative to the regular potato crisps we’re so accustomed to here.

Loro Crisps was Founded in 2019 by two Colombian women entrepreneurs, Natalia Welch and Daniela Orrego, who saw the need to bring their favourite childhood snacks to the UK, AND to the rest of the world.

The products are 100% vegan and gluten-free plantain crisps, made from plantain fruit. NOTE: Plantains might look like a banana, but you can’t eat them raw. Plantain has been a staple part of Latin American and African food diets for years: they’re a healthy, natural source of fibre and potassium.

Loro Crisps comes in four Columbian-inspired flavours:

  • Quimbaya Limon (green plantain with a zesty lime flavour),
  • Zipaquira Salt (green plantain with a touch of salt),
  • Latin Chilli (green plantain with a kick of chillies),
  • And Uraba Sunshine (yellow plantain with a natural sweetener).

The Columbian business duo first met at the University of Sheffield’s ‘Enterprise Zone.’ Natalia had already started a business named Pura Panela, which sells unrefined sugar canes from Colombia. Daniela had recently graduated from a Masters degree in Entrepreneurship.

Daniela was brought up in the lively Colombian city of Cali. She moved to the UK in 2014 to study at the University of Sheffield. An LLB Law and Criminology was followed by a Masters in Management and Entrepreneurship. Daniela is passionate about speaking openly about her mental health challenges, and women in business. In her spare time, she enjoys playing golf and guitar. Her favourite plantain crisps are Urabá Sunshine!

Natalia is truly passionate about natural foods. She moved to Sheffield in 2010 to study English, and partake in a Master’s degree in International Criminology (whilst learning to appreciate ale and jazz, and complaining about the weather).

After years of desperately missing panela (an unrefined Colombian sugar with an amazing fine taste and texture), she decided to bring it to Europe. Her business, Pura Panela has converted many people to this special taste of Colombia. She is passionate about sharing her love for Colombian products, culture and music. Her Favourite Loro crisps are Quimbaya limon!

“Starting a brand in the middle of the pandemic and Brexit is the most challenging thing we’ve ever done. We’ve had to fight against all odds to make sure that everyone enjoys our delicious plantain crisps, but without a doubt, it’s been worth it – every time we see someone tasting our products and putting on a smile,” said Daniela.

In November 2020, Loro Crisps celebrated their first year of trading. Impressively, at the time, they had shared their delicious plantain crisps with over 100,000 happy amigos! Loro is currently available in four different markets: in Spinneys & Choithrams in the UAE, in Biooo in the Czech Republic, and in deli-stores in the UK and Japan.

“Loro has landed in stores already, and is performing super well,” said Joanne, a Buyer at Spinneys.

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