Spicewell is the world’s first nutrient-dense salt and pepper brand, but it took a series of family health emergencies to spark the idea, says Raina Kumra, founder.
Her husband underwent complicated knee surgery and returned home only to have her kids get into a severe bike accident the next day, resulting in a broken collarbone for her daughter. A woman whose career was spent mainly in the tech sector was suddenly a full-time at-home caregiver.
“I grew up Indian in an Indian household where we use a lot of herbs and spices whenever there’s an ailment in your body,” Raina explains. “I took some of that ancient knowledge that I remember my grandma passing down. I know that if you have kale and spinach and broccoli, it will help your body heal tendons and muscles and bones. I powdered it. I put it in my daughter’s smoothies. I put it everywhere. I gave them every possible opportunity. Every bite that went into their bodies was an opportunity to heal them. And so that is what Spice Well was born out of.”
The strategy worked, and her family recovered much faster than expected.
“As a mom, you’re always hiding vegetables in their food,” she says. “And I was like, ‘Well if I can do it for a 5-year-old, what could I do for the rest of the American population who is not eating properly?’ ”
Turmeric proved to be the key ingredient, so Spicewell added it to its salt and pepper products. It’s better absorbed when ingested two or three times a day with meals.
“If you use your salt and pepper every day after eight weeks, you start to feel an effect around your inflammation levels, around feeling brain fog, things like that,” Raina says. “These things need to build up in your system. You can’t just have one golden latte and be un-inflamed.”
The COVID pandemic changed the company’s original trajectory, as ingredient prices and shipping costs varied dramatically from week to week. Now that Spicewell is on its third production run, Raina hopes to enjoy better economics so prices can remain affordable.
“I think the more people who buy it, eventually we will be able to get the product down,” she says. “But, you know, a large food conglomerate is only focused on the cogs. They’re not focused on your health. They might put a lot of healthy tag lines on the label, but the ingredients are still the cheapest that they can find. And we were very particular about where are things came from.”
In Part 1, Raina talks about:
* Gratitude for a doctor who guided her and eventually joined her company’s advisory board.
* The unlikely journey of becoming an at-home caregiver and helping her family recover using nutrient-dense foods.
* How turmeric can help with inflammation, mainly when consumed multiple times a day.
* How the COVID pandemic affected the startup of the brand.
* The thoroughness of testing and selection of ingredients.
Join Ramon Vela and Raina Kumra as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.
For more on Spicewell, visit: https://thespicewell.com/
This episode is brought to you by Yotpo.
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