Recently I stumbled across another local business on Twitter – The Spice Sultan…those who know me, know I love a good curry and supporting local businesses so I thought I’d catch up with David Jessup and find out more about this venture!
Tell us about Spice Sultan…!
The Spice Sultan is a small Artisan business based near Bath founded by David. They produce hand crafted spice recipe kits and send out monthly recipe subscription boxes which include their fresh spice blends and recipes. The key element when cooking with spices is that they are really fresh, so spices are freshly ground and blended for optimum flavour. All the spices are measured out to the exact quantities required to accompany the recipes. This makes cooking a lot easier and also means you don’t have to shop for any unusual spices! There are a range of world recipe kits such as Moroccan Tagine with Rose Petal Harissa, and offer monthly Indian subscription boxes called Thali Discovery and Veggie Thali. The first subscription box comes with a set of Indian Thali plates – Thali is the name given to a special plate used in India to serve a selection of different dishes. It has separate compartments usually filled with a main dish, vegetable side dish, dahl, rice, salad and chutney or pickle. It makes for a really exciting eating experience which starts with the vibrant appearance of the food when served. They use authentic Indian home cooked recipes collected from David’s India travels to develop new spice boxes each month. Cooking is his passion, so its far from a burden trying out new recipes!
How did you get started – have you always loved spicy food?
David’s mother ignited his passion for spicy food and cooking. As a teenager he would help her on her farmers market stall selling her homemade curry sauces. He eventually started working as a chef and worked in a really cool restaurant in Bristol called The Thali Cafe. This is where he learnt a lot about Indian food especially. After his time working at The Thali Cafe he decided to travel the world to experience authentic food and learn more about different cooking styles. It’s only when thinking back he realises he was especially drawn to the countries that cook with spices – Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, North Africa.
What does the future hold?
Its about doing something he loves. David hopes the business can grow and build a loyal customer base and make people happy by providing exciting recipes to go with the spices. Its a real thrill to get positive customer feedback and this really drives him to carry on even when business challenges arise
What has been the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome?
Finding quality suppliers has been a challenge. David explained that you might not think it but spices really vary in quality, and its always been important to use only the best as David wants people to keep coming back for more.
What does a typical day look like?
Most of the day is spent on production. There is a large commercial spice grinder and blend all the spices in large pots. But most of the time is taken up filling spice sachets and assembling the kits. Part of the day is also spent packing up orders. David also has to make time for recipe development but this is usually done in the evenings – luckily his family all love spicy food!
What’s the best thing about what you do?
The best thing is recipe development. He loves discovering exciting new dishes and the good part is he gets to eat them! David also love doing Markets as you get to interact with customers and its always fun chatting to the other stall holders and finding out what they have been up to.
You can order the Spice Kits directly – each kit costs £2.95 each and at the moment, if you order 4 you get 10% off!!
You can find Spice Sultan at:
Twitter – thespicesultan
Facebook – www.facebook.com/thespicesultan