Name: Madhan Machendran
Business: Spice Monger
Location: Highland Park, NJ
Specialty: Organic Spices & Herbs
The problem your business solves: We bring our customers good quality, hand packed, organic spices from small farms at very affordable prices.
What makes your business unique: All of our spices are sourced from a USDA certified supplier with farm traceability.
How you got your start: Our spice journey started with the birth of our daughter. After she was born, we began to actively transition into living an organic lifestyle. However, as avid home cooks we found the lack of truly affordable organic spices in the marketplace disheartening.
Our trip to the district of Wayanad in Kerala, India inspired us to find a solution to this problem. The lush mountains of this coastal district are inhabited by spice farmers who have cultivated the same spices their ancestors sowed for thousands of years. After decades of using pesticides and modern farming practices, these farmers are getting back to their roots by reviving ancient farming practices that today are termed “organic.”
Experiencing this bounty of fresh, organic spices gave us an idea: why not bring these spices to the United States? Importing spices from Wayanad would help the local economy and would finally bring organic spices that are both delicious and affordable to health and eco-conscious consumers around the US. And so Spice Monger was born.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Selling food has a lot of regulations and it is imperative to do some groundwork before kick starting any new food based venture.
The greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it: Currently, all of our spices are sourced and packed in Wayanad, India. There are lot of logistical challenges and initially the production and delivery process was not streamlined. Now, I have engaged right resources in India that help to reduce delivery time and costs.
What you're most proud of about your business: I’m proud of the integrity and love for what we do and what we stand for.
What’s yummy about being a food entrepreneur: The joy of discovering new spices, understanding their history and getting creative in the kitchen with them!
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