Whether it’s cardamom, saffron, or that spice that you used once for that recipe you cooked way back when, most of us can admit to having one or two spices sitting in our cupboards that
aren’t getting much love. Guilty? I know I am.
But, not to worry, Trusha Patel, owner of Spice Sanctuary, is not only providing Canadians with quality, organic spices, but she’s also teaching us how to use them in easy, everyday ways.
After moving to Canada from the United Kingdom in 2009, Patel just wasn’t getting enough depth and flavour with the spices that she was cooking with. Because her biggest hobby was cooking and creating her own dishes, Patel started searching for wholesome spices and continually found that the quality and purity of the spices that she was working with were lacking. When she realized that sourcing and selling the best quality spices was something that she wanted to pursue herself, the entrepreneur started researching harvesting methods, grades, and spices that she wanted to bring in.
“One thing that really struck me was that nobody was providing any transparency on the spices that they were offering. I knew from the beginning that my primary focus would be to ensure that the spices I sold would be pure and organic, and I wanted to make sure that farmers had fair trade practices in place.” Failing to find one supplier that could provide her with the spices that she wanted in the grade that she needed, Patel refused to compromise quality and freshness for convenience and chose separate suppliers to ensure the delivery of top quality products.
Though the initial start-up stages proved to be challenging, since Patel knew little about rules, regulations and certifications in Canada, she persevered to find the best
quality spices and did everything that she could to support her new home. “I knew that I not only wanted fresh, organic spices and that I wanted to provide transparency, but I also
knew that I wanted to support local. Everything is packaged here in Canada. I buy in bulk from Europe, India and Sri Lanka, and once they arrive, they are packaged in a certified organic facility in northern
The Spice Sanctuary’s “Farm to Pantry Initiative” openly attests to having the shortest supply chain among any other organic spice supplier in Canada. In six steps or less, products reach
customers and avoid the repackaging that subjects the spices to oxidizing elements like light and air - both of which attack the volatile oil content in the spices. While preserving the oil content is essential, the Spice Sanctuary is also equally as committed to preserving the
environment. Together with The Carbon Farmer, Spice Sanctuary has committed to help with the afforestation project in northern Alberta through the “Plant a Tree for Me”
program. For every 50 dollars that is spent online, the Spice Sanctuary will purchase a tree in your name, and spices and blends that are purchased from retail stores also help to
support the cause.
In addition to growing and running her business with integrity, Patel also finds time to offer cooking classes, which allows her to share her passion and put some common misconceptions to rest. “I want to eliminate the several myths that spices always have lots of heat, that they are only used for certain ethnic cuisines, and I want to eliminate the question that I get asked the most which is, ‘how long do spices last?’”
In my world, that question shouldn’t come into your mind because you should be using them often enough that you don’t need to worry about that,” Patel chuckled. Patel believes that it comes down to education, and considers it her job to give people tips and tricks. “For me, the biggest reward is that people not only like my spices, but that they actually go and use them in different ways,” Patel explained.
All fitness __ Spice Sanctuary: The Spice Paradise
By Andrea Fulmek