The Tales of Black Pepper From India

Our friend in India comes from a family of black pepper farmers and was the first of that family to go to school and get an education. His goal was to get his family out of the cycle of local exporters and bring opportunity and profit margins that could sustain their family and help them grow their community. He was on a mission.

This young and ambitious friend of ours originally sent us hundreds of emails. He is from an area of India known as Kerala. Kerala is on India’s Arabian Sea shoreline and is known for its stunningly beautiful backwaters and beaches. The area is also known for its wildlife preserves and parks that are home to elephants, langur monkeys, and tigers. We had other farming relationships for products that required annual site visits and we decided to entertain the requests of this incredibly ambitious and persistent guy that would not stop emailing.

When we met him at the airport we were struck by how animated, happy, and enthusiastic he was. He was dancing around he was so happy and had to put down his welcome sign to give us immediate hugs upon arrival. He was truly excited to meet us and saw it as a huge opportunity for his family and their farm. Farms in India become extremely sustainable and efficient out of pure necessity. They had extremely low margins with local exporters and were barely surviving but their work ethic and remarkable efficiencies truly impressed us.

When they started talking prices I was astonished. I explained to them that working with Will, packing to our specifications, and building the relationship with us would work. We painted the picture for them and described the way we build lifelong relationships with Essential Spice. I talked to the father and told him that the investment he made to give his son an education would pay off far into the future. They were clearly hard workers and had an unbelievably efficient farm. We told the family that we would give them a trial order. They were excited about the opportunity, but we both didn’t know how it would go until that first trial order arrived.

A few months later that container arrived in the United States and it was perfect. The highest quality we’d ever seen at an amazing price for us, yet also at the highest price they’d ever sold their product. Our pricing allows them to be multiple times more profitable than they’d ever been while also bringing the highest quality product to US markets at extremely competitive pricing.

What we do at Essential Spice on a day to day basis is build the relationships that let us bring the highest quality food products to the US market, while having life and community changing effects driving prosperity at the local level. We do this by going there personally to develop real relationships. The unmatched quality built through personal connection is what allows us to bring to market these spices and foods that are so essential to each of these locations around the world.