This Christmas, buy local


Tribe Marianas assures customers of quality over quantity. (Bea Cabrera)

Choosing to buy local and giving them as gifts this Christmas might just be one the best decisions you will ever make this year.
Local products are accessible, they taste great, and quality is guaranteed because products suit the environment where they are going to be used or consumed. Supporting local businesses in the CNMI will also help the community be more productive and better connected.

Saipan Snaps

Happy memories abound with every bite of Saipan Snaps’ Ginger Snaps Cookies, according to owner Jill M. Arenovski. “The company was born as a way to offer a delicious locally made product to tourists, locals, and visitors. Ginger snap cookies have an amazing connection that stirs happy memories for so many people of all ages and backgrounds,” she said.

“The spiced cookies remind them of their grandma, of their childhood, or of special holiday gatherings with family. My own connection is what prompted me to make this a business because every time I bake these ginger snaps, I think of my dad and how much he loved them and loved me.”

Saipan Snaps are baked and delivered fresh. “They are the same cookie that I have made in my home over many years for family and friends.  The colorful packaging reflects our island’s beauty, and locally grown ginger is baked into every ginger snap,” Arenovski said.

“Lots of us purchase from Amazon or other online vendors on a regular basis for items not locally available and often even for items that are locally available. By doing so, we’re sending our earnings to other areas, which boosts those other economies. It’s important to keep our money here in the CNMI by supporting local vendors which, in turn, will boost our own economy and will strengthen Saipan overall.”

Saipan Snaps comes in two sizes: 31 grams and 90 grams. “They are an affordable stocking stuffer, as well as a great holiday gift to send to family and friends near and far. …The colorful packaging reflects our island’s beauty, and locally grown ginger is baked into every ginger snap.”

The cookies are available in Shell gas stations in Puerto Rico, San Roque, and Susupe, Highway Express, DJ’s Corner at Hyatt Regency Saipan, iShops at Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan and Kanoa Resort, and at the Pacific Islands Club gift shop.

For orders, contact Arenovski at and Facebook page “Island Snaps.”

Tribe Marianas

Creating a brand that will bring urban streetwear to the islands was the vision of Tribe Marianas co-founder and creative director Rob Travilla.

“The people behind this company were born and raised here in the Marianas. …We blend in the local culture with the concrete jungle. …Our designs are hugely inspired by a lot of urban and streetwear in California, Miami and New York.”

Travilla said that, for people who have been following the brand for the past three years, they know about Tribe Marianas’ ‘exclusivity,’ “meaning once we sell something and it solds out, we never make it again.”

“…One thing that we promise our customers is quality over quantity always,” he added.

Their main tagline is “support local.” These words are even displayed in neon lights at their main store on Middle Road. “We have been pushing and promoting for the community to support our brand because when they do, they support local… This is not talking bad about foreign investors or companies but when you shop local, you are keeping the local community alive,” Travilla said.

“We urge the community to support local because the money stays in the community and we have to help each other prosper because we live here, our sons and daughters go to school here… When you shop local, the economy is alive and continues to circulate,” Travilla added.

For more information about their products, go to their Facebook page and Instagram or visit Tribe Marianas’ main store at D’ Torres Building on Middle Road. They are also available in DFS Galleria in Garapan and DFS at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

Saipan Brewing Company

The Saipan Brewing Co. was first launched during the CNMI Liberation Festival in June 2016. The good reception for their locally brewed beers reassured manager and head brewer Stephen Sablan that plans to go commercial was inevitable.

“Supporting local businesses is good for tourism, opens up jobs, and most of the money generated stays within the CNMI. From our perspective, it allows us to support our local farmers whenever we look for local products to add to our beer,” he said.

“Our beer is made here on Saipan and doesn’t get any fresher than that. SBC produces many different beers, from experimental to seasonal. We try to produce as many different styles for everyone to enjoy,” he addd.

Sablan said that their products are one of the gift choices this Christmas. “You can purchase our cans almost anywhere and try the different styles we have out there… Currently we have our Neipa, this is new. We will soon be rolling out our Hibiscus Spice Ale, which is our holiday beer, so we ask the community to be on the lookout. We also have shirts, hats, and beer glasses. Just call (670) 286-2337.”

MD: Choosing to buy local products and give them as gifts to family and friends this christmas might be one the best decisions you will ever make this year. Local products are accessible, they taste great and quality is guaranteed because products are made to suit the environment it is going to be used or consumed in. Supporting local businesses in the CNMI will help our community to be more produtive and better connected with each other.

Happy memories abound with every bite of Saipan Snaps’ ginger snap cookies. (Contributed Photo)

Saipan Brewing Co. beer is made here on Saipan and it doesn’t get any fresher than that.  (Bea Cabrera)

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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