Nina Edwards’ mouthwatering gummies inspired by islander cravings
Micronesian Wednesday Feature
Many a Micronesian youth has been admonished about the dangers of eating too much of a tart and savory Kool-Aid mix but it’s difficult to heed the reprimand of anyone who wags a disapproving finger that is also stained red.
While every family recipe varies according to taste, one Marshallese Kool-Aid connoisseur has perfected a mix that propelled her to make a business out of it.
Nina Edwards is the brilliant maker behind Guuumiez, a small business selling gummy candies mixed with LiHing and Kool-Aid powders.
“I first put homemade with ‘love,’ but thought it was too cliche so I did ‘yokwe’ meaning ‘love’ in Marshallese,” Nina explained.
Just scrolling the Guuumiez Instagram feed is enough to trigger one’s salivary glands.
Guuumiez has different mixes. They combine gummy bears, gummy worms, Sour Patch Kids gummies, watermelon gummies, sour belts, fruit snacks, and more with a blend of Kool-Aid and LiHing powders. The result is a first-rate sweet and sour snack that absolutely satisfies.
It’s “basic islander cravings,” Nina quipped.
After tasting a Guuumiez gummy batch, it’s near impossible to eat a regular pack of gummy worms on its own. Once you’ve elevated your tastebuds to Guuumiez level, you don’t want to go back to eating the soft and chewy candies on their own.
Guuumiez operates out of Washington state. Nina, who is from the Marshall Islands, lives there now. She said she came to Seattle when she was two years old with her grandparents.
“We came here for better schooling and job opportunities,” she said.
Nina developed her mix and shared it with family and friends, who couldn’t get enough. Eventually, word spread and so Guuumiez was born.
"I honestly only started selling because after making small batches for friends, families, they would start wanting more. Then people from around the world started asking me to start shipping, then I did!” Nina said. “So I’d say people around me inspired me to make my product go around from state to state.”
While similar gummy products are sold in many places in the nation, Nina said what makes Guuumiez unique is the addition of a long-standing Micronesian favorite: Kool-Aid.
In addition to single batch orders, Guuumiez will make party favors of gummy mixes with a custom label for the occasion.
“It’ll be very popular during 1st birthdays, or as we call it, kemmems,” Nina said.
Guuumiez party favors are a good way to introduce this sweet and sour snack to your non-Islander family and friends and support a Micronesian small business.
Bonus: Nina said worldwide shipping is available, too.
Check out the Guuumiez Jar products on Instagram and Facebook! Follow them and keep them in mind to satisfy your islander cravings.
Thank you Nina for sharing the beginnings of the Guuumiez products! I really appreciate you and applaud you and the Guuumiez team.
I am not joking, my mouth waters every time I come across Guuumiez’s posts on social media.
Thank you guys for reading. Write to you again soon.
If you liked this, why not subscribe to The Husk? You’ll get these stories and more sent to your email. It’s an easier way to learn about cool Micronesian creatives and that’s kind of nice, right?