Interview with Spice Kitchen’s Sanjay & Shashi Aggarwal

We’ve interviewed some absolutely amazing businesses over the last week as part of our  Christmas countdown with a micro business a day. And I probably shouldn’t have favourites. But I do. And Spice Kitchen is, hands down, my personal favourite of the micro businesses we’ve spoken to so far. Let me tell you why:

  • It’s a Mother and Son run business. I work with my Mum so I give myself permission to have a soft spot for parent/offspring run businesses
  • The products look AMAZING! Seriously, go check them out.
  • They donate a chunk of profits to an amazing charitable cause
  • Did I mention that the products look amazing? 

We spoke to founders, Sanjay and Shashi Aggarwal about running Spice Kitchen, the challenges and navigating 2020 in a family owned micro business.

 

 

Sanjay and Shashi Aggarwal

Founders - Spice Kitchen

The Mum and Son team behind Spice Kitchen donate a chunk of their profits from sales of their stunning spice led products to The Akshaya Patra Foundation to provide midday meals for children in India. We talk to them about their business!

Over to you, Sanjay.

In a nutshell, what do you do?

We create and sell beautiful artisan spice tins and sets.

Who runs the business?

I run the business with my Mum, Shashi Aggarwal aka Mamma Spice.

What makes Spice Kitchen different from its competitors?

All of our spices are hand selected, blended and ground to ensure the optimum in freshness, taste and aroma!

What inspired you to start Spice Kitchen?

Spice Kitchen was started over the kitchen table on Christmas Day in 2012.

 

My Mum, Shashi, was looking for something to do in her retirement and I suggested she start selling spice tins on eBay.

 

Mum is an oracle when it comes to cooking with spices and it seemed like the perfect fit for her experience and skills.

 

2020: What a year! How have you navigated the pandemic?

What a year indeed!

 

We’ve been really fortunate and are so grateful for this. As our wholesale and retail side of the business went quiet, sales directly to customers through our website started to increase.

 

At the start of lockdown, we noticed that people were returning to home cooking from scratch, and so our spice tins and sets were perfect for people looking to expand their cooking skills!

 

We loved seeing this shift in our way of life as home cooking is dear to our hearts –  it was one of the good things to come out of lockdown.

 

What do you love most about running your business?

The customers and the feedback we get! Without question this is what gives us the inspiration to keep going.

 

My team has a WhatsApp group and whenever we get a nice email or TrustPilot review from a customer, we share it and celebrate.

 

I am not sure that our customers really know just how much it means to us when they write and say that they love their purchases!

 

What have been the toughest challenges?

As we’ve grown, we’ve had to expand the team. As a little family business, every person you bring in is crucial and can make a real difference to the company culture.

 

Luckily, we have grown organically and taken on some really amazing people, but it’s always a moment to take a breath as a new person starts while we see how the team evolves around the new personality!

 

Share one piece of advice for an aspiring business owner

Right now, I think anyone setting up a business should be exploring eCommerce and looking at the ways in which what they offer can be delivered online.

 

We’ve seen the world change rapidly in such a short space of time and at this moment, we are all unsure as to what ‘normal’ is going to look like.

 

But the one thing we seem to know for certain is that the internet is going to play a huge role in that.

 

Find out more about Spice Kitchen

You can find out more about Spice Kitchen and its charitable work, plus browse the amazing product range on the website: www.spicekitchenuk.com

Stacey MacNaught
Stacey MacNaught
Stacey is an SEO and content marketing specialist by day. She's the founder of MacNaught Digital and Micro Biz Mag, and has been writing copy for over a decade. She lives in Oldham with her husband and three sons.