Paktli Foods offers a sweet taste of home, based on ancient recipes

CINCINNATI — Heading right into the Paktli Foods kitchen, Lucia Delbosque grabs a hairnet and gloves, gearing up for a long day at work — but “work” is not the word she uses.

“It’s like a therapy, you know, it’s very relaxing. I like it,” she said.

Delbosque is a part of the Paktli Foods team. She and her family moved here from Mexico about eight years ago for her husband’s job. She now creates and prepares Paktli, a snack very close to her heart.

“It reminds me of a sweet of my country,” she said.

Keeping a small, yet sweet piece of culture alive, Paktli Foods is a minority women-owned snack business run out of the Findlay Kitchen. Findlay Kitchen offers kitchen space for food entrepreneurs to rent, helping local restaurateurs get a boost toward getting their businesses off the ground.

Owner of Paktli Foods, Seena Chriti, said this snack is so much more than just something a person enjoys eating.

“Paktli means ‘joy’ in the language of the Aztecs,” Chriti said.

She grew up on this snack, but when she moved here she couldn’t seem to find it anywhere. With that in mind, during the pandemic she started making and selling it herself.

She’s made some changes to the original recipe she learned in Mexico.

“So this is like my version, my very high-end version, because I use organic Italian, amazing chocolates, and everything is organic, gluten free,” said Chriti.

Making the sweet treats soon became a passion project, offering an even sweeter opportunity for the women who work for her.

“They are all moms and a lot of them didn’t have a job before. A lot of them don’t speak good English,” Chriti said. “So they don’t feel so confident to go into the regular marketplace.”

She said the company feeds people and the soul of her community, which has become her main goal.

“Some are looking for extra employment because I am only employing them once, you know, every week or every two weeks when we produce,” she said. “So I don’t produce every day, but they feel just part of a team and they feel that they are helping spread the word of our culture.”

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