Balashi is proud to be Aruba’s original and much-beloved local beer. We are honored to share the spotlight with other quality local businesses and products and can think of no other Aruba original for our first spotlight feature than the one and only Royal Aruba Aloe.
Planting a Legacy
The legacy of Aruba’s aloe plant began in 1840, when the aloe vera plant was first introduced to Aruba by the Dutch governor van Raders. The hearty, sun-loving succulent felt right at home in Aruba’s semi-arid climate, and the cultivation and export of the aloin (a natural laxative) derived from the plant became one of the island’s earliest economic pillars.
Cornelis Eman founded Aruba Aloe in 1890 to harness the growing potential of aloin within the pharmaceutical industry, designating a plot of land in the Hato neighborhood for the aloe plantation. Eventually, close to 2/3 of the island was covered in aloe plants and Aruba went on to become the world’s largest producer of aloe hard gum.
An Evolution to Skincare
After decades of success, the demand for aloin began to decrease, prompting a reinvention of Aruba Aloe in the 1960s with a focus on cosmetic products using the healing, clear gel extract from the leaves, which locals had already been utilizing for anything from skincare to treating burns. By 1980, the Eckerd Pharmacy chain in Florida began importing Aruba Aloe products, launching a new era for the company.
By the mid 1980s, Aruba Aloe developed product lines that included shampoos, deodorants, and skincare and sun-care products.
Today, Royal Aruba Aloe has 18 retail locations on the island, as well as a factory and museum. Those living abroad can enjoy these products through their online store.