Introducing LAFAZA

On our shelves of spices and herbs sits an elusive, versatile little bean: vanilla! We think vanilla has gotten a bad rap of being plain, unexciting, and lackluster, especially in comparison to its frequent rival of chocolate. If you think vanilla is boring, it’s because you haven’t had really great vanilla. That’s where LAFAZA comes in. 

Forests, Farmers, and Flavors


LAFAZA operates with a focus on three F’s: Forests, Farmers, and Flavors. Unlike large commercial companies, LAFAZA strives to create a delicious product while paying great care to the land it comes from and the farmers that care for it. They partner directly with small farmers and grower co-ops in Madagascar to ensure the best quality and sustainable trade practices. 

Rather than Fair Trade, LAFAZA is a Direct Trade business. What’s the difference? Fair Trade certification is expensive, which limits many farmers from acquiring the certification. It also does not require the same quality standards of Direct Trade, which means low quality products are sold for the same price as similar products of higher quality. Direct Trade, on the other hand, supports sustainable practices that result in a great tasting, high quality product AND aids farmers and the industry without any added cost, making it accessible to more farmers. This means growers and consumers alike get higher quality, organic vanilla, and the growers consistently earn more for their hard work than they do with Fair Trade!

LAFAZA’s sustainability practices allow independent farmers to work with their land instead of against it, ensuring the land remains fertile and acts as a healthy forest throughout growing and harvesting. This means it can continue to provide a habitat for the biodiversity that calls the land its home. LAFAZA invests in the co-ops they work with and supports local libraries and community centers in these rural forest communities to create a symbiotic relationship between the company and their growers. “We made a commitment a long time ago to try to do the hard work of day-to-day sustainability in Madagascar and to make direct trade a core part of what we do,” Says Nathaniel Delafield, co-founder and CEO of LAFAZA. “As we scale up, we are still out there making sustainability a lived reality for our partners and staff in rural villages.” 


Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract sourced from the farmer cooperative’s forest-grown vanilla! This is a full-bodied vanilla that has a rich and creamy flavor. and. Not all vanilla extracts are created equal, and many can be harsh or one-dimensional. This vanilla is delightfully complex with notes of caramel and cocoa that will bring wonderful depth to your cooking or baking. “It works especially well in things where vanilla is the star of the show,” says Deli Tastings and Events Coordinator Tessie Ives-Wilson. “Sugar cookies, vanilla ice cream or gelato — increasing the quality of such a major flavor component will always bring incredible results.” This is the same vanilla the Deli kitchen uses in our incredible G’s Granola!

Ground Vanilla Beans

Pure Bourbon vanilla beans are ground into a fine powder to make this product. Ground vanilla is a 1:1 substitute for vanilla bean in baking or cooking, and also works wonderfully sprinkled on top of desserts. Every jar has the equivalent of 12 vanilla beans.

Deli Managing Partner Grace Singleton recommends making whipped cream sweetened with honey and a bit of vanilla powder. Grace recommends a fairly liquid & fruity honey (like Moon Shine Trading Co. Fireweed Honey or Agrimontana Miele di Fiori di Acacia).

Whole Vanilla Beans


These are beautiful, sun-cured vanilla beans from northeast Madagascar. Raised sustainably by small farmers using forest-friendly methods and fairly purchased through cooperatives, these are premium, Grade A-1 beans – meaning that they are the best you can get. To get to the beans inside, cut vertically down the center of the pod and carefully open it. Scrape the inside of the pod from one end to the other with a spoon or the dull end of a knife. One full bean amounts to about 2 tablespoons of vanilla. If stored in a dry, airtight container in a cool environment, these beans can last up to 2 years, but LAFAZA recommends using within 6 months to maximize freshness and flavor.  

This vanilla bean is an excellent choice when making our Deli Noodle Kugel at home. Did you know you can make your own vanilla extract at home? Split your vanilla bean and drop the pod into a glass jar, then top off with vodka or rum. Seal and store in a cool dark place for at least 4 weeks, and shake every so often to evenly distribute the beans. 

Don’t wait any longer! Stop by the Deli or order online, and give your cooking and baking an extra zing of flavor from an incredible sustainable business.