Interview - Riki Kaspi - Moroccan Spice Journey
Riki Kaspi’s passion is food and she has built a business around showing others how to cook flavoursome, exotic meals at home. Her range of spice blends and pastes have won favour with consumers for their ease of use and authentic flavours. We chatted with Riki to find out what led her to create her range.
FFW: Who is behind Riki Kaspi Moroccan Spice Journey?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: I am Riki Kaspi, a chef, restaurateur, culinary educator and spice expert. I’m also a creative entrepreneur who has indulged my passion for spices by creating my hand-crafted line, Riki Kaspi Spice Journey.
FFW: What led you to establish your business?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: I felt the need to create my own spice products which are simple to use, and so easy for everyone to prepare delicious homemade meals. I decided that I will fully take fully of the flavours, creating my own spice pastes and blends and limit the customer’s ‘shopping list’ for up to maximum three ingredients.
FFW: How would you summarise your range of products?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: My range is about helping consumers to add flavour and create delicious exotic dishes at home with ease. I have five different spice pastes plus a couple of spice blends, Moroccan couscous and Egyptian dukkah.
FFW: What makes your products different from others in the marketplace?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: My products are as good as homemade, using ingredients you could buy for yourself, but with the expertise I bring around spice blends, flavour profiles and exotic cuisine. Everything is 100% natural and preservative free and we freshly roast and grind all our own specifically selected spices and blend them with fresh herbs.
FFW: Is your range made in Australia?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: Yes, everything is proudly made in Australia.
FFW: From where do you source your ingredients?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: All our herbs and salt are localy sourced from Western Australian growers and manufactorers. Our aim is also to source every spice product grown in Australia available in the market (such as Australian-grown sugar). Currently, most of the spices are grown by and sourced from overseas growers.
FFW: What would you say is the most popular product in your range and why?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: Moroccan Chicken Chermoula; Moroccan Hot Harissa; Preserved Lemon. These are typical Moroccan flavours and they make it so easy for the home cook to create an authentic Moroccan meal at home.
FFW: How are Australians adapting to Moroccan/Middle Eastern cuisine which seems to be a comparatively latecomer to our culinary landscape?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: (See also in the presenter) Both Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisines gained great popularity and appreciation worldwide as well as among Australian foodies. They are known for their fresh and healthy ingredients, rich and well balanced flavors and textures, and they are popular in home cooking for family meals. They are even suitable for kids as there are no spicy chili ingredient in most of the dishes.
FFW: What are the most compelling virtues of your products?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: (See more on presenter): Consumers love that ours are handmade artisan products of premium quality. We are proud to keep everything preservaive free, using fresh herbs and freshly ground spices and seeds.
FFW: Do your products sell well as foodie gifts?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: The jars of spice paste look particularly attractive in gift hampers. I think it’s wonderful to be creative with gift box themes and consumers love exotic food. A gourmet foodie will appreciate a basket of my products, for sure.
FFW: What kinds of retailers are stocking your range?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: Over 35 grourmet food retailes in Perth, large and medium size are stocking my range. They include: The Good grocer, IGA Gourmet Shops, Farmers Jack, Herdsman Fresh and many more.
FFW: How do you encourage your retailers to promote your products?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: Taste testing is a great idea because if consumers are not familiar with the flavours, tasting them instore introduces them to them without them having to buy anything right away. Also, when staff are familiar with the products, it helps them to know how to promote them. I suggest encouraging staff to try the products, to know how easy they are to cook with and how versatile they are.
FFW: Do you offer any serving suggestions, recipes or interesting and unique ways to consume them?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: There are many, many recipes on the Riki Kspi Spice Journey website, from tasty dips and koftas to Moroccan tagines and salads.
FFW: What are some of the more innovative ways your products are being used?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: There is a delicious recipe on my website for Moroccan Lamb Cigars. These are scrumptious and always popular at parties. I also give suggestions on dishes to serve at Moroccan themed dinner parties.
FFW: What lies ahead for Riki Kaspi Moroccan Spice Journey; any new products or flavors coming up?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: I look forward to continuing to explore and develop new spice blends and products. It’s what I love to do but I can’t predict what I will be creating next because inspiration comes unexpectedly.
FFW: What do you most love about your business?
RIKI KASPI MOROCCAN SPICE JOURNEY: I love that I can inspire and help home cooks to get creative in the kitchen and prepare tasty meals that they wouldn’t otherwise have explored.