Husband and wife duo Megna Murali and Aarjit Iyer have been running an online spice store called Spice Quarter for the past year. They supply freshly blended, dry spice mixes with matching recipes. Spice Quarter’s spice blends combine the freshest herbs and spices into unique flavours. They sell a range of enticing spices, spice sets and gift boxes. Spice Quarter’s spice blends combine the freshest herbs and spices into unique flavours.
Megna and Aarjit come from a long line of spice blenders. Megna remembers watching her grandmother choose the right herbs and spices for recipes. “They would use their mortar and pestle to create homemade, organic and small batch spices that generations have grown up with”, she says.
When Megna couldn’t locate any good quality spices which were free from additive, colourings, fillers and preservatives in the supermarkets or anywhere else she started to look into creating a small business. “We really wanted to keep this heritage of ours alive. That is why we started Spice Quarter,” she adds happily.
The need for fresh, organic spice blends turned into fantastic small business for Megna and Aarjit.
“We both enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. This meant that we had lots of bottles of half-used spices, spice blends and mixes in the pantry. Often we would throw them out when they expired. While searching for an alternative, we realised that most store spice blends have ingredients like rice flour and flavour enhancers. So we began looking for alternative but couldn’t find any in Australia.”
Spice Quarter’s mission is simple: bringing flavours of the world to your kitchen
“With Spice Quarter, everyone can cook cuisines from around the world in only a few simple steps. We make it easy to cook healthy and delicious meals at home with simple, nutritious ingredients. There’s no need for takeaways!”
We respect the historical & cultural significance of food
Spice Quarter offers pay as you go or prepaid subscriptions. Every month Megna and Aarjit send three new dry spice blends that are organic, vegan and paleo. They add matching recipes that are step-by-step guides to creating healthy, delicious meals using ingredients that already exist in the average kitchen. Spice Quarter’s website also contains recipe videos, free resources and tips for home cooks.
The culture at Spice Quarter is all about “respecting the historical and cultural significance that cooking plays in our lives. Our end goal is to make it enjoyable for our customers to use our products. With this in mind we are constantly seeking to improve our offering. Cooking is a great way to connect with each other and we see our products as a wonderful medium to connect with our customers”.
We bring something unique to the family kitchen
“We bring something unique to the family kitchen, a way by which a family can enjoy diverse cuisines from around the world with only two simple steps. We do all the hard work sourcing spices, blending locally, developing and testing recipes. All you need to do is grab one of our spice mixes and follow the instructions on the handy recipe card. Within an hour or less you will have created a healthy, delicious meal with unique flavours. Cooking doesn’t have to be dull, boring or tiring. We believe that there is no better way to connect with your friends and family than by cooking together. With our small business it is easy to go on an adventure around the world from your own kitchen”.
Spice Quarter regularly publish blogs with recipes, healthy tips and guides for home cooks on their website. They also have an Instagram and Facebook page where the duo interacts with many customers and food lovers.
Megna adds, “Our strongest marketing has been our customers! We get many repeat customers and referrals.” This husband and wife team with a passion for cooking work together and so far don’t need to hire any additional employees.
we are learning something new every day
Like any other small business, Megna and Aarjit faced significant challenges during the initial stages. “Our biggest challenge has been learning how to run a small business. We did not even know where to begin, how to plan, how to source or any other aspect of starting a business. Still, we are learning something new every day. There are lots of resources out there for budding small business owners as well as like-minded people for support and guidance,” Megna says.
We enjoy the process of creation that comes with being an entrepreneur
She adds, “We enjoy the process of creation and discovery that comes with being an entrepreneur. It is immensely satisfying to know that our creation is being enjoyed by families all over the world”.
If there was one piece of advice Megna and Aarjit would give to small business owners starting out it is that starting a business is challenging in ways you will never imagine.
Megna says, “At times it can be overwhelming. What works for us is to break down our tasks and responsibilities and chip away at them one at a time.” Then adds, “When juggling a business along with other commitments, it is really important to focus on the limited time on hand on those tasks that will bring the greatest gain to your business.”
In the next five years Megna and Aarjit are aiming to be the leading supplier of small batch spice mixes in Australia.
“We plan to expand our products into retail stores as well as sell to other businesses. We have built up a large collection of recipes which we will be releasing as a cookbook as well”.