Meet The Producer: Rachel & Daniel from Sprinkle Spices
So Rachel and Daniel, what’s the story behind Sprinkle Spices and how did you start your journey?
Sprinkle was born out of frustration with stale, nasties-laden, mass produced seasonings. Rachel was raised in Israel, where cooking with spices is a way of life there’s no escaping from. She couldn’t find za’atar on the market that tasted like the authentic one she grew up eating, so we decided to make our own, and so Sprinkle was born.
As we delved into the spice industry we realised it was dominated by conglomerates, opaque supply chains and farmer exploitation. As a result, spices have become a cheap commodity that’s often a couple of years old by the time it reaches your kitchen, adulterated and flavourless.
When it comes to spices, most consumers have no idea what real, fresh spices should taste, smell or look like. We’re on a mission to raise the bar on so-called ‘seasonings’ and do for spices what the craft movement did for chocolate and coffee - inspire people to discover the magic of fresh spices and empower them to cook healthy and delicious food every day.
What values are important to you and your business?
We’re an independent, digitally native, consumer-focused artisan maker. We strive to create premium, ethically sourced, innovative and exotic spice blends and salts from the finest ingredients we can find. We don’t cut corners or take shortcuts common in the industry. We’re laser focused on freshness, quality and flavour. That’s why all our products are handcrafted in small batches at our spice factory, right here in Melbourne.
We believe in supporting a more fair and sustainable spice trade that’s better for consumers, farmers and the planet, so we only use organic or organically grown spices and herbs and natural Australian harvested salt. We don’t allow any nasties (such as artificial flavours & colours, MSG, refined salt, sugar, anti-caking agents, preservatives or fillers), and we roast, grind and blend our products from scratch weekly. We will always do things ‘the right way’ in order to deliver value to our customers.
Who’s involved in the process - from produce to final product?
We’re a two man (and woman) band! From sourcing over sixty whole spices and herbs from growers and farmers in Australia and from around the world to roasting, grinding and blending our spice blends at our small spice factory in Melbourne, we do it all. We also fill, seal and label our jars to ensure maximum freshness all the way!
What’s the ‘why’ behind Sprinkle?
We’re really passionate about spices, if you can’t tell already. It’s as simple as that.
In a world where we’re all obsessed with plant-based eating and ‘real’ food, it’s spices that make each dish exciting and nutritious. We’re here to disrupt a legacy industry and reinvigorate the spice aisle. We’re on a mission to inspire avid cooks to create awesome-tasting dishes, explore new flavours and discover the magic of spices. Anyone can cook like a pro - great food isn’t just made by chefs. We set up to make it easy to cook healthy and delicious every single day with a simple sprinkle.
As you know, we’re lovers of great design. What is the story behind your brand/product design?
If you look at a supermarket spice aisle, you’ll see plenty of tired looking products that typically come in plastic shakers, unsightly sachets or worse yet self-scoop containers. We wanted the Sprinkle ethos to run through the brand and product design so we’re all about inspiring people to cook and explore flavour in a fun and engaging way as well as freshness and quality.
Our blends are inspired by the world’s best cuisines and, particularly, by Tel Aviv’s Levinsky spice market and Israeli food. So our logo and brand colours are all about capturing all that, appealing to men, women and anyone who wants to cook up a storm. The fun, vibrancy and simplicity of cooking with our products is represented on our little jars of flavour. We picked glass jars not only for their design value but also because they keep spices fresher for longer, as well as being reusable once the spices are gone.
At Pretty Green, we’re all about small batch, sustainable and most importantly, yummy food. What does small batch mean to you?
Unlike most spice brands out there, as a small batch maker, we are essentially saying no to outsourcing manufacturing to a giant factory. By being ‘small batch’ and vertically integrated, we can control everything from where we source the ingredients, roasting profiles and blend recipes to how and when our blends are made as well as how they’re stored. This is to maximise freshness and quality of our product.
We make weekly small batches from scratch by roasting, grinding and blending whole spices just moments before we make and package our blends. We then fill and vacuum seal our jars, before keeping the finished product in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment at our factory. All this means our customers get to enjoy cooking with uniquely fresh and aromatic blends and experience unusual flavours not found anywhere else on the market.
What is your personal favourite product in your range and why?
All our products are awesome and were carefully developed with authenticity of flavour in mind. I think we’re most proud of our unique Middle Eastern range, specifically our Galilee Za’atar, which we think is the best in Australia (based on Rachel’s family recipe) and Jerusalem Mix, a blend inspired by a secret Jerusalem spice mix and famous Israeli street food.
How would you describe the flavours of your products?
Our blends are inspired by the flavours of the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean, North & South America and Australia. We’re always trying to source unusual ingredients (such as Syrian Aleppo Pepper, Turkish Urfa chilli flakes, Australian grown turmeric & ginger, Mahlab powder and exotic Mexican chillies) for our blends. Our goal is to surprise and delight people who love to cook with unusual, hard-to-find spice blends and single origin spices and introduce them to flavours they won’t find anywhere else.
We spend a lot of time crafting and tweaking each recipe to ensure it’s delicious, perfectly balanced and packed with bold and bright flavours in order to exceed people’s expectations. Many customers tell us that once they tried our blends, they couldn’t go back to the ‘ordinary’. That’s the biggest compliment for us!
You’re based in Melbourne, what’s the best thing about living and working there?
Melbourne is such a diverse and vibrant city with incredible food, coffee and culture. Our factory in North Melbourne is close to Preston Market, a foodie’s paradise with plenty of great shops and cafes where we love to stock up on great produce to cook at home. To go with our spice blends, of course!
Not only do we love the way food tastes, but we also love the way it makes you feel and the memories it creates. What’s your favourite food moment or memory?
We’ve lived and travelled overseas for many years and have many great food memories from all over the world. We’ve spent time in London, NYC, Sydney, Asia and South America as passionate foodie, always trying to seek out new tasty experiences. On our last trip to Tel Aviv we tasted truly outstanding food. Israel is a melting pot of flavour and the food scene there is incredible - so much creativity and versatility. Our favourite food experiences always take us back to Israel.
What’s your favourite farmers market?
Borough Market in London! We lived near the place for almost 6 years and love the buzz, amazing restaurants and the way in which it’s grown over the years to become such an iconic destination. If you haven’t been, we highly recommend it!
What’s your favourite meal and why?
Hmm it’s definitely a close call! It’s a toss up between a finely chopped Israeli salad with creamy home-made hummus or succulent grilled chicken skewers spiced with our very own Jerusalem Mix. In each case, there ought to be heaps of tahini on the side and steaming fresh pitta bread brushed with za’atar and olive oil.